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NEW LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY CONGRESS THREATENS RIGHTS OF VICTIMS OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE, JEOPARDIZES RECOVERY

A dangerous bill has been introduced in the 112th Congress (2011-2012) that seriously undermines Americans’ right to seek recovery for death or injury at the hands of negligent doctors or other health care providers.

Disguised as a health care provision – and cleverly named Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH), H.R.5 in the House of Representatives blatantly cites undocumented, unexplained “findings” that the civil justice system is a “costly and ineffective” way to deal with medical malpractice issues.

Ignoring documented statistics that at least 98,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors each year, this bill seeks to restrict victims’ rights to recourse through the courts . . . and would impose one-size-fits-all limits on the amounts that victims and their families may recover.

H.R.5 was introduced in January 2010 by Representative Phil Gingrey, a Republican from Georgia, with 100 additional co-sponsors. Currently, it is being considered in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and has been granted an extension for discussion until May 13, 2011. Political insiders say it is likely to pass . . . unless fair-minded citizens persuade their representatives to vote “no.” (A similar bill, S. 218, has been introduced in the Senate by Nevada Senator John Ensign, with two co-sponsors. Given the Democrat-Republican split in the Senate, it is far less likely to gain traction.)

To learn more about this potentially devastating blow to the civil justice system, check out research and compelling arguments against H.R.5 developed by the American Justice Association. Read the full text of the bill and get updates on its progress here.

Then, email, phone, or write your Representative to make sure this dangerous proposal does not become law.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE ISSUE TO CONSIDER: FEDERAL PREEMPTION AND THE MEDICAL DEVICE SAFETY ACT

You can help protect the rights of victims of faulty medical devices and other defective products by urging Congress to pass the Medical Device Safety Act. Click on the links below for facts about federal preemption of state products liability and negligence laws – and why American consumers suffer the consequences.

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