Surprise Florida Medical Malpractice Bill to Raise the Burden of Proof

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Medical malpractice lawsuits can take years to go through trial and reach a final judgment.  If a lawsuit reaches a settlement it could take less time.  Medical malpractice lawsuits can also be very technical and if a procedural mistake is made then the case could be dismissed.  Many lawyers will not take a medical malpractice cases unless there is a strong possibility that it will be successful.  A new bill in Florida has been introduced that could make medical malpractice lawsuits even more difficult for patients to win. 


In Florida the current burden of proof in medical malpractice cases is “greater weight of evidence.”  The new medical malpractice bill would raise the burden of proof to “clear and convincing.”  This tougher standard is a priority of the Florida Medical Association.  This bill would also limit whom the victim can have serve as an “expert witness” and testify against the health care provider.  Additionally, the attorney of the physicians / defendants would be able to interview the victim’s subsequent treating providers and the claimant’s attorney would not be given notice of this.


This bill does not only protect doctors.  It would also provide hospitals with the same protections insurance companies and HMOs enjoy.  It would be made clear that hospitals could not be liable for the actions of contacted health care providers.  This would significantly limit their liability and the possible recovery of victims of medical malpractice.


The bill surprised the state’s trial bar when it was scheduled for early morning debate with only 24 hours of notice rather than the normal 48 hours of advanced notice that the bill would be heard.  With such short notice, there was not as much public testimony from injured patients as trial attorneys did not have as much time to reach out to them.  It was also difficult for injured patients to travel to Tallahassee to share their stories on how such a bill would impact their lives.


But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] .  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at




Gaetz is a politician and his lips are moving !!! I have handled med mal claims since 1985, from the field to VP, in 34 state,s for plaintiffs and defense.I have some know how. My credibility- former x-ray tech litigation paralegal, professional designations in claims and underwriting. employed by insurance carriers, TPA's and law firms. - healthcare costs are their own problem due to lack of competition provided by McCarron -ferguson of 1948. Dump it - It allows anti trust tactics for Blue cross and the rest of the HC crew. Dump that and create competition. If there was a company in Maine that had better for less, go buy it.... but you cant. Why? - see MeCarron fergusoin. not med mal reform. Healthcare costs are due to price fixing . If Defensive medicine caused 500 Cat scans to be done, where 250 were actually needed. wouldnt the 500 bring the cost down due to volume? How many diagnoses do the extra/ claimed unneccessary Ct's find. Goofy argument. When Blue cross starts selling physician liability insurance - then maybe. - Gaetz want fairness for docs- If honest, wouldnt he say fairness for everyone?? Telling. - Re insurance- it is as cheap as it has ever been for docs. They got used to not having it. It was way too expensive at one point, not now. Let me get this straight= I need insurance to drive , but docs dont need it to thread a wire into a patient's brain. That's good lobbying right there. Smells bad to me. No insurance no patients- that is fair. I cant register my car w/o it. Which is more dangerous healthwise? - Rates are down 36%. Much more than that and mostly due to competiton- see my earlier comment. In 2003 there were 3 carriers willing to write docs in Fla, and it was really expensive, now there are 25 companies. Why?- They can make money due to the heavy handed laws against the population, and favoring docs. DESPITE THE LOWER RATES, DUE TO COMPETITION !!!!!!! See McCarron - ferguson - I have defended docs for 26 years, but the truth is that it is very hard to keep docs accountable for their screw ups. The pendulum has swung too far to give patients treatment w/o recourse to shoddy work. Regards Jim O'Hare RPLU AIC AIS
by Jim O'Hare RPLU AIC AIS March 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM
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