Pa. Supreme Court Agrees to Study of Med Liability Venue Rules Before Deciding on Changes

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2019

gavel-stethoscope-blueThe Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to accept the recommendations of Senate Resolution (SR) 20, which calls for a measured approach to any future changes to rules governing venue in medical liability actions. The Court will await a study on the effects that changing venue rules could have on the commonwealth before it considers whether to make changes.

The Court shared its decision in a Feb. 14, 2019 letter to House Speaker Mike Turzai and House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler. Read the letter.

The Fight Isn’t Over – It's Still Vital for Physicians to Voice Opposition to Venue Rule Changes

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) thanks the many physicians, health care professionals, and patients who submitted comments and concerns about the venue rule proposal. You have made an impact!

While the Court’s decision to await the study before making any changes is a positive development, it is still essential for all physicians to voice their opposition to the proposal.

If passed, this change would allow personal injury lawyers to forum shop, which would likely result in more lawsuits and higher premiums for all physicians. This WILL critically affect the bond between physician and patient.

The deadline for public comments is Feb. 22. If you haven’t done so yet, Comment Now

Background on SR 20

SR 20 was passed in response to a proposal by the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee that would allow medical liability lawsuits to take place outside of the county where the alleged malpractice occurred.

The resolution directs a bi-partisan legislative research committee to conduct a comprehensive study of the impact such a reversal would have on the availability of medical care across the Commonwealth. The resolution goes on to dictate that the study includes an assessment of the effects of the 2003 venue changes on such areas as the availability, cost and affordability of medical liability insurance. The study is also to determine whether sufferers of medical negligence have been appropriately compensated in the years since the court restricted venue shopping.

For more information on the proposed venue rule changes, visit www.pamedsoc.org/venuerule.



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