Since the 1990s, Michigan is the only state that effectively bars citizens from bringing lawsuits against drug companies, even when drugs are proven to be dangerous and defective. This has caused Michigan and it’s citizens to lose millions of dollars in compensation for wrongful death and injuries.
Now, the state Legislature is considering a package of bills (SB 1110, 1115, 1116, 1117 and 1118; and HB 5669, 5670, 5671 and 5672) which will effectively bar any citizen from bringing a medical malpractice case against Michigan hospitals, health care corporations, physicians groups and all health care providers. The Legislature is even coming back in the middle of the summer to hold special hearings on these bills.
This effort to take away the Seventh Amendment right to seek justice is despite the following facts:
— Patient safety depends on holding every hospital and provider accountable for their actions. Do we really want to go to a hospital where there is no responsibility for negligent or careless medical care?
— Since the 1993 Tort Reform Legislation, the number of medical malpractice cases in Michigan is down 80 percent; and the amounts paid to claimants has dramatically decreased, most recently down 60 percent.
— Michigan is one of the two or three toughest states in the entire country for a patient to bring a medical malpractice case in. Doctors are not fleeing Michigan because of medical malpractice suits; Michigan is the best place to be.
— Without medical malpractice cases, the state will lose funding as current liens collectable from malpractice cases under Medicaid will not be available, and the state will have to assume costs for those victims of negligence needing care.
— Dr. B. Elliot Grysen, Spring Lake