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Pennsylvania House Passes Nursing Home Medical Liability Bill

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The House has passed new legislation in Pennsylvania that will limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits filed against long-term care facilities, personal care homes, and assisted living communities, the Citizens Voice reports.

If passed, the bill will limit punitive damages to up to 200 percent of compensatory damages awarded. The limit would not however apply to cases that allege unlawful acts or intentional misconduct by a facility.

Pennsylvania Health Care Association President, Dr. Stuart Shapiro said the bill will give nursing homes and related facilities the same punitive damage protection that Pennsylvania physicians currently have.

Many Pennsylvania Democrats voted against the bill, with House Republicans mostly supporting the measure, saying it takes a step in ending deep-pocket frivolous lawsuits.

Wilkes-Barre Democratic Representative Eddie Day Pashinski said “I don’t think there should be a cap on egregious acts,” adding that the state could take better steps to protect long-term care facilities, other than putting caps on punitive damages. He said writing a more clear definition of “unlawful acts” can protect facilities as, “The home would have a more defined area and as a result, it would allow them to function without fear of litigation,” from what he called predatory out-of-state law firm filings for various infractions. disclaimer: This article: Pennsylvania House Passes Nursing Home Medical Liability Bill was posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 9:03 pm at and is filed under Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits.

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