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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2202         FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2194

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act Relative to Medical Malpractice Claims.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

Marc T. Lombardo

22nd Middlesex

Donald F. Humason, Jr.

4th Hampden

Geoff Diehl

7th Plymouth

F. Jay Barrows

1st Bristol

Shaunna O'Connell

3rd Bristol

Susan Williams Gifford

2nd Plymouth

George T. Ross

2nd Bristol

Donald H. Wong

9th Essex

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Kevin J. Kuros

8th Worcester

Sheila C. Harrington

1st Middlesex

Matthew A. Beaton

11th Worcester

Steven L. Levy

4th Middlesex

Paul K. Frost

7th Worcester

George N. Peterson, Jr.

9th Worcester

Elizabeth A. Poirier

14th Bristol

Viriato Manuel deMacedo

1st Plymouth


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2202        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2194

By Mr. Jones of North Reading, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2194) of Bradley H. Jones, Jr., and others relative to medical malpractice claims.  The Judiciary. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 1452 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act Relative to Medical Malpractice Claims.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  Chapter 112 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out section 12C and inserting in place thereof the following section:—

              “Section 12C.  No physician or nurse administering immunization or other protective programs under public health programs shall be liable in a civil suit for damages as a result of any act or omission on his part in carrying out his duties.  No physician or nurse who is registered by the Commonwealth in the Massachusetts System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals or its successor entity shall be liable in civil suit for damages for any act or omission on his part related to his voluntary participation in any disaster preparedness or response activity.”.

              SECTION 2. Section 60H of chapter 231 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, lines 13 and 14, inclusive, and lines 21, and 23, in each instance, the words “five hundred thousand” and inserting in place thereof in each instance the figures: - “$250,000”.

              SECTION 3. Said chapter 231 is hereby amended by adding after section 60K, the following new sections:

              "Section 60L. In any action for malpractice, error or mistake against a provider of health care licensed pursuant to section 2 of chapter 112, including actions pursuant to section 60B of this chapter, an expert witness shall be board certified in the same specialty as the defendant licensed pursuant to section 2 of chapter 112, as so appearing.

              Section 60M. In every action for malpractice, negligence, error, omission, mistake or the unauthorized rendering of professional services against a provider of health care the court may, at the request of either party, enter a judgment ordering that money damages or its equivalent for future damages of the judgment creditor be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment if the award equals or exceeds $50,000 in future damages. In entering a judgment ordering the payment of future damages by periodic payments, the court shall make a specific finding as to the dollar amount of periodic payments which will compensate the judgment creditor for such future damages, and court shall require a defendant who is not adequately insured to post security adequate to assure full payment of such damages awarded by the judgment. Upon termination of periodic payments of future damages, the court shall order the return of this security, or so much as remains, to the defendant.

              (a)(1) The judgment ordering the payment of future damages by periodic payments shall specify the recipient or recipients of the payments, the dollar amount of the payments, the interval between payments, and the number of payments or the period of time over which payments shall be made. Such payments shall only be subject to modification in the event of the death of the judgment creditor.

              (2) In the event that the court finds that the defendant has exhibited a continuing pattern of failing to make the payments as specified in paragraph (1), the court shall find the defendant in contempt of court and, in addition to the required periodic payments, shall order the defendant to pay the plaintiff all damages caused by the failure to make such periodic payments, including court costs and attorney’s fees.

              (b)Money damages awarded for loss of future earnings shall not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the plaintiff, but shall be paid to persons to whom the plaintiff owed a duty of support, as provided by law, immediately prior to his death, or to whom the plaintiff assigned, transferred, or bequeathed his right to receive payment. In such cases the court which rendered the original judgment, may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid future damages in accordance with this subdivision.

              (c) Following the occurrence or expiration of all obligations specified in the periodic payment judgment, any obligation of the defendant to make future payments shall cease and any security given, pursuant to this section shall revert to the defendant.

              Section 60N. In any action for malpractice, error, omission, mistake or the unauthorized rendering of professional services against a provider of health care, the liability of each defendant for damages shall be several only and shall not be joint. Each defendant shall be liable only for the amount of damages allocated to that defendant in direct proportion to that defendant’s percentage of fault, and a separate judgment shall be rendered against that defendant for that amount.".             

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