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Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Bill would raise medical malpractice awards in Va.

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Trial lawyers and doctors may have worked out a compromise that would raise awards in medical malpractice lawsuits $50,000 each year.

Del. David Albo (R-Fairfax) said he and Sen. Henry Marsh (D-Richmond), both attorneys, helped the two feuding sides negotiate a deal by telling them that if they didn't work out a compromise, legislators would do it for them.

Albo has introduced a bill that will increase awards from $2 million to $2.05 million July 1, 2012 and then $50,000 each year until July 1, 2031.

In the 1970s, the General Assembly capped awards in medical malpractice lawsuits at $750,000. The cap was gradually increased and capped at $2 million in 2008.

Legislators have debated for years whether to increase the amount. Some Democrats have favored an increased, but Republicans have rejected the proposals in the name of tort reform.

Albo said he thinks that members of both parties and both chambers will agree to the compromise because trial lawyers and doctors have already worked out a compromise.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), a lawyer, favored some increases when he was a legislator, but did criticize his Democratic gubernatorial opponent Creigh Deeds for supporting a 1999 bill that would have raised Virginia's cap on medical malpractice settlements from $1 million to $3 million.

McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson said the governor will review the new bill. "He will also be meeting with all the parties involved in the crafting of all compromise."

By Anita Kumar  | December 3, 2010; 11:13 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race, Anita Kumar, Creigh Deeds, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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The threat of malpractice ligation fuels the practice of defensive medicine, that fuels the costs of health care, and lines the pockets of insurance companies and lawyers. It does nothing to improve your health care and has everything to do with making sure predatory lawyers get rich and stay rich!

Posted by: 10bestfan | December 3, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Just great! People already file frivilous malpractric suits because of greed and now there will be even more! There needs to be a better way to protect our Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals from having to deal with false suits and to protect others from having to pay the high cost of Dr. visits due to such nonsense.

Posted by: bgal625 | December 3, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I love the smell of lawyers in the morning...It CRAP!

Posted by: madmike272 | December 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I love the smell of lawyers in the morning...It CRAP!

Posted by: madmike272 | December 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

We need to help bailout the Slip And Fall Lawyers!!

Posted by: pat11 | December 3, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

What can we learn about medical professional liability from prior economic downturns?

Posted by: JEngdahlJ | December 6, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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