Measure to have malpractice lawsuits evaluated by panels introduced

The Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved Senate Bill 4 on Wednesday, January 4, which state Senator Ralph Alvarado sponsored. The bill seeks to have lawsuits against doctors or health care practitioners evaluated for merit by panels of medical providers before plaintiffs can file them under Kentucky courts.

After this hearing, Alvarado said, “I know of one Louisville law firm that has filed at least 100 nursing home lawsuits and settled most of them. To take that to court and fight it costs more than to just settle it. But now the legal climate in Kentucky has become so toxic that doctors practice defensive medicine just to protect themselves.”

Under SB 4, a four-member panel of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services will review written evidence related to the complaint of malpractice. The panel is expected to issue a decision regarding the complaint’s merits within six months of its receipt of the claim.

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