Oklahoma State Senator Jim Wilson on SB 507
It remains to be seen whether or not the Governor of Oklahoma will veto this bill. For the sake of Oklahoma, I sure hope he does. And shame on Susan Paddack for voting for this one. I'd chastise the Republicans who voted for it, but we all know they did so out of concern for their campaign contributions and not for their constituents.
Wilson spoke at length about Senate Bill 507, a controversial lawsuit reform bill that passed Thursday, 25-23, with only one Democrat – Susan Paddack, D-Ada – voting for the measure.
Wilson was very open about his views on the bill.
“I hope the governor vetoes it,” he said.
Wilson explained several details of the bill that he disagrees with, including:
• Relatives of fatal accident victims who are awarded monetary judgments would, under the new measure, have those judgments reduced by an amount equal to any life insurance payments made.
• Relatives of nursing home residents who may have been injured because of nursing home negligence would not be allowed to use nursing home records as evidence. (See what happens when a major industry buys off legislators? - Justinian)
“That’s protection for the nursing home industry,” said Wilson.
“Not that we don’t need to protect them, but we have to be moderate about it.”
• Judgments in favor of plaintiffs in negligence lawsuits would be paid in annual installments, based on the expected life-span of that plaintiff. The problem with that measure, Wilson said, is that many of those negligence victims have exorbitant bills that need to be paid, and are likely to settle for a much smaller amount just so they can receive the entire settlement in one lump sum.
Wilson said supporters of the bill claim it will lower malpractice insurance costs for doctors in the state. But, he added, the legislature passed a $300,000 cap on lawsuits against emergency room and obstetrics/gynecology doctors several years ago.
That bill, he said, did what it was intended to do – lower costs – but the savings were not passed on from the insurance companies to physicians and patients. (Emphasis added.)
Can someone please explain to me why we can cap the amount of money that injured citizens can receive, but we can't cap the malpractice premiums of doctors? Especially when we pass laws that are intended to lower malpractice premiums?
Originally Posted at Corpreform.com