Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Battle of the ex-chiefs on med mal

Last week former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Bev Lake, a Republican, weighed in on a cap on medical malpractice claims. A monetary cap such as Senate Republicans are considering would be unconstitutional, he said. Here's a link to Lake's letter to lawmakers:
But this week another former chief justice, Democrat Burley Mitchell, took an opposite view. Under the Dome reports that in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chair Pete Brunstetter, R-Forsyth, Mitchell wrote, "We are aware of no binding legal authority that should give the General Assembly any pause in enacting a statutory cap on recovery of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions." In fact, he went on, "the law of North Carolina...indicates that the North Carolina Supreme Court would follow the majority of courts that have addressed this issue and hold that such a statute is constitutional."

Here's a link to the Dome report:

The proposed cap on jury awards, Senate Bill 33, will be discussed in a public hearing Thursday at 10 a.m. in room 1027 of the Legislative Building on Jones Street in Raleigh.

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