Readers in Tucson may be interested to hear of a bill recently proposed by Representative Bob Thorpe to the Arizona state legislature. The bill, titled HB 2465, calls for medical malpractice lawsuits to be filed only by lawyers who have been certified by the Supreme Court of Arizona as official medical malpractice attorneys. The proposal does not define what certification might entail, however.
If passed into law, HB 2465 would require that medical malpractice cases be heard only by those judges who have had special training to deal with such matters. This means that patients suing for medical malpractice would be restricted to specific lawyers and judges.
Interestingly, the proposal would not restrict doctors or hospitals in any way. They can still choose whomever they want to defend against a claim of negligence.
HB 2465 is garnering its fair share of heat from the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association. A spokesperson for the ATLA stated that the bill would be a restriction on free enterprise and that plaintiffs in Arizona should be able to pick the lawyers that suit the plaintiffs' needs.
While it remains to be seen whether this piece of legislation will pass into Arizona law, people who have been injured as a result of medical negligence would do well to consult with an attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases. All injured patients should be apprised of their right to pursue compensation for damages.
Source: Verde Independent, "Thorpe seeks to limit malpractice lawsuits," Howard Fischer, Feb. 2, 2013