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Around the State

Daily Briefing for March 25, 2023

Rendell Press release on med mal proposals attached and Piccola press release on joint-and-several at the bottom


Rendell’s proposed legislation:
Rendell: Limit malpractice lawyers' fees

Allentown Morning Call
More malpractice reforms on table

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Rendell looks to Legislature for more medical malpractice measures

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Rendell: Mediate medical lawsuits

Washington Observer Reporter:
Rendell looks to Legislature for more medical malpractice measures

Carlisle Sentinel
Rendell looks to Legislature for more medical malpractice measures

Rendell looks to Legislature for more medical malpractice measures

Philadelphia Business Journal
Rendell issues medical malpractice insurance proposals

Insurance Journal
Pa. Gov. Rendell Offers Med-Mal Package

PA Hospitals Reaction to the Rendell Proposals - PRESS RELEASE
PA Hospitals React to Gov. Rendell's Medical Liability Proposals


New York Times
Justices Hear Arguments About H.M.O. Malpractice Lawsuits




International Herald Tribune
If Doctors Admit Making Mistakes, Will Their Patients Be Less Likely to Hire Malpractice Lawyers?

Philadelphia Inquirer
Hospital accused over use of stent


Cell call came during procedure


Connecticut Doctors Seek Help on Medical Malpractice Costs

Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Gov. Jeb Bush joins the president of the American Medical Association...

Gainesville Sun (FL)
UM doctors would get sovereign immunity under House bill


Mowery and Piccola reintroduce lawsuit reform measure: 'joint & several liability' legal doctrine.

Text of March 24 press release.

HARRISBURG - Senators Hal Mowery (R-31) and Jeff Piccola (R-15) reacted today to recent challenges in the courts by introducing for the second time a major lawsuit reform measure that replaces “joint and several liability” with “proportional liability.” Senate Bill 1078 represents a bipartisan effort of 29 cosponsors and builds upon the Senate’s recent passage of the Constitutional amendment to permit caps on non-economic damages.

“We are concerned about the procedural question in the courts, which could jeopardize the most significant lawsuit abuse reform of the last 30 years. They’re questioning the procedure not the merits,” said Mowery.

“Based on the litigation that is pending before the courts, we need to be sure that the substance of the legislation is carried to fruition even if the courts have problems with how the original law was passed in 2002. We need to maintain the reforms that we previously adopted,” Piccola said.

Under joint and several liability, anyone found even 1, 5 or 10 percent liable in a civil suit can be held 100 percent financially responsible, the legislators said. Thus, a plaintiff may recover the full amount of an award from any defendant. The result is that litigants often go after people with “deep pockets,” putting Pennsylvania at a disadvantage - especially when we are trying to attract, create, and retain jobs. If the legislation by Mowery and Piccola is approved, defendants found to be at fault would continue to be held liable for their proportionate share of damages only.

“This legislation is about supporting economic development and preserving our tax base,” said Mowery. “It’s about enhancing Pennsylvania’s ability to create and maintain jobs. It’s about providing our constituents with opportunity and security. And it’s about fairness.”

“Joint and several liability is a job killer in Pennsylvania,” said Piccola. “This legislation was long overdue and will ensure fairness, common sense, and personal responsibility within our civil justice system.”

Among the hardest hit by joint and several liability are health care facilities. “Hospitals may be named in a suit simply because they have insurance coverage,” said Piccola. “In the current climate, premiums continue to escalate while the number of insurers decreases.”

“Five commercial carriers that insured more than half of the hospitals and health systems in Pennsylvania have left the market in 2002. Hospitals continue to struggle to find other carriers and this has devastating consequences,” said Mowery.

The unfairness of joint and several liability was highlighted when Crown, Cork, and Seal, a major employer in Pennsylvania, was saddled with asbestos liability because of a company it acquired for less than 90 days. Although Crown, Cork and Seal never manufactured or produced asbestos, the company faced over $700 million in payouts. “The legislature needs to provide relief from the archaic doctrine of joint and several liability. We need to protect Pennsylvania employers - hospitals and other job creators,” Mowery said.

“We need to avoid the fear and uncertainty that it may be overturned like the Crown, Cork, and Seal legislation. This will help to end decades of lawsuit abuse in Pennsylvania, which is good news for everyone.”

CONTACT: Amy Bolze (Sen. Mowery), (717) 787-8524
Colleen Greer (Sen. Piccola), (717) 787-6801

Keywords: justice and the courts


Related Files

Rendell Press Release

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