An Assemblyperson Who Sees The Light On Proposal #131! Nice E-Mail Today About The Ridiculous Cap To Limit Malpractice Victims’ Rights.


March 16, 2011

Dear Mr. Fisher,

Thank you for expressing your opposition to the Medicaid Redesign Team’s

(MRT) Proposal 131 which recommends a cap on non-economic damages to victims of medical malpractice.

The MRT recommendations are far-reaching and have generated a great deal of controversy. However, few have been as controversial as this particular recommendation. As you are probably aware, a complaint has been filed with the Commission on Public Integrity stating that several members of the Medicaid Redesign Team have conflicts of interest.

You made a valid point about the MRT over-reaching in its attempt to re-shape the justice system as part of resolving budget issues. The purpose of a lawsuit is to make a victim whole. In essence, the MRT proposal arbitrarily defines “whole” as victims of malpractice.

As the budget process proceeds, I will keep your thoughts and concerns in mind.


Steven F. McLaughlin

Member of Assembly

108th District wrote:

> John Fisher

> 991 Deans Mill Road

> Ravena, NY 12143-3307



> March 1, 2011


> The Honorable Steve McLaughlin

> New York Assembly

> Legislative Office Building, Room 529

> Albany, NY 12248



> Dear Assemblymember McLaughlin:


> I strongly OPPOSE the proposals currently included in the Executive

> Budget that would cap awards on non-economic damages to victims of

> medical malpractice and create a Neurologically Impaired Infant Fund.


> The purpose of the civil justice system is to compensate victims

> harmed by the negligence of others. A cap would adversely affect

> individuals with legitimate claims who have suffered the most serious physical injuries.

> Further, considering only economic loss would discriminate against

> persons with little or no earnings such as children, the elderly and homemakers.


> A Neurologically Impaired Infant Fund would force the most helpless

> victims into a Medicaid style system with their options for treatment

> rationed by bureaucrats in a system under which they have no control.

> When a family suffers devastating loss due to medical negligence, at

> the very least they should be permitted to make their own treatment decisions.

> They should not be victimized twice.


> Additionally, there is the matter of accountability. Negligent

> doctors should be held responsible for the injuries they cause. If a

> doctor is operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol should

> they be entitled to greater protection under the law than a drunk

> driver? Tax payers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for a negligent doctor’s harm.


> Proposals to modify New York’s civil justice system should not be

> driven by the special interests of hospitals and other healthcare

> entities. The Medicaid Redesign Team failed to include consumer groups

> or patient advocates. The MRT’s rushed process was unfair to medical

> malpractice victims, consumers and taxpayers, none of whom had a seat at the table.


> I respectfully request that you OPPOSE BUDGET LEGISLATION that would

> implement the MRT’s Proposal Number 131 in relation to capping

> non-economic damages in medical malpractice actions and create a

> Neurologically Impaired Infant Fund.

> Sincerely,

> John H. Fisher

> 518-265-9131