New Legislative Proposal Seeks to Eliminate Justice for Injured Georgians

Posted by T&G on January 10, 2012

The Center for Justice & Democracy ("CJ &D") at New York Law School recently released a study entitled, "Georgia's Patient Compensation System-A New State Agency That Will Harm Patients." The study critiques a current legislative proposal in Georgia that would eliminate the right to jury trial for all patients injured by medical malpractice, replacing juries with a government agency comprised of political appointees and government bureaucrats pulled from the medical and business industries.

In a CJ & D article entitled, New Study: Patient Compensation System Proposal: A Terrible Idea for Georgia, Joanne Doroshow, CJ&D's Executive Director, stated, "This proposal is nothing short of a government takeover of the medical malpractice system, instituting a rigid, dictatorial system of compensation schedules and liability standards for doctors, and replacing what is now a free-market approach to holding health care providers accountable for their negligence with government regulation."

Doroshow continued, "It is certainly astounding that Georgia would even consider abolishing judges and juries in medical malpractice cases just two years after the state Supreme Court unanimously struck down a law 'capping' compensation for patients, a far more subtle intrusion into the jury system. What's more, because of the cost involved with implementing this proposal, compensation to seriously-hurt patients, including catastrophically-harmed children, would be well below their actual losses, likely forcing them onto other government health and disability programs, such as Medicaid. This proposal would not only harm these patients, but also, makes no fiscal sense."

In conclusion, Doroshow said, "This proposal's wholesale dismissal of the constitutional jury system, the creation of an entirely new state governmental agency to handle what are a relatively small percentage of medical malpractice cases in our court system, and the likely costs of maintaining such a system, are why proposals like this have gone nowhere in Congress or in any state in the nation. It should be rejected as bad public policy for Georgia, as well."

Overall, this proposal is a blatant violation of our Constitution and would result in causing further harm to injured Georgians by eroding the rights and protections patients and their families are guaranteed.

Read the full CJ&D article: http://www.centerjd.org/content/consumer-group-releases-new-study-critiquing-georgias-patient-compensation-system-proposal

Read the actual report: http://centerjd.org/content/georgias-patient-compensation-system-new-state-agency-will-harm-patients