1999 Legislative Compendium: Tort/Liability Reform

The legislature was not extremely interested in tort reform this session. They feel that substantial reform was done in 1995 and are still evaluating the effect of these reforms before they pursue additional tort reform. Nonetheless, a measure passed which provided that physicians performing charity care through a non-profit clinic or entity are immune from liability except for gross negligence. A bill providing immunity from liability while using an external defibrillator passed (see EMS and Trauma section). Additionally, a bill was passed with the support of TMA to enforce an agreement in the 1995 reforms that an expert in a medical liability case had to be a licensed physician actively practicing in the same field or specialty as the subject matter of the lawsuit.

A Y2K bill passed which provided incentives on the part of manufacturers and suppliers to cure defects in exchange for some limitation on damages. Other tort reform measures involving class actions, settlement credits, third-party liability and premises liability pushed by the major tort reform groups failed to pass.

Tort/liability Staff Contact
Greg Herzog, Legislative Affairs: (512) 370-1360

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