For Immediate Release: June 28, 2017

AAJ Response to House Passage of Bill that Decimates Patients’ Rights

Contact:
Sammi Swing
Email:
Samantha.Swing@justice.org
Phone:
(202) 944-2806

Washington, DC—The following is a statement from American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Julie Braman Kane in response to today’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the “Protecting Access to Care Act” (H.R. 1215), a bill that strips patients and nursing home residents of their rights to hold the health care industry accountable in court for injuries or death caused by medical negligence, intentional abuse, and defective or dangerous products. The bill faced robust bipartisan opposition and narrowly passed by a vote of 218-210.

“With today’s vote, the House once again prioritized the interests of health care corporations and the insurance industry at the expense of safe, affordable medical care for Americans.  AAJ stands with patients and calls on the Senate to protect the people of this country by rejecting H.R. 1215.”

“H.R. 1215 shamefully protects negligent medical providers, abusive nursing home corporations, and careless drug companies when they place profits ahead of quality care.  Each year, 440,000 Americans lose their lives due to preventable medical errors.  If this bill becomes law, victims and their loved ones will be unable to hold those responsible accountable.  Without accountability, every American is at risk.” 

“Medical malpractice liability has always been governed by the states, but H.R. 1215 is an offensive federal power grab that would trample on states’ efforts to protect their citizens and to deter dangerous, negligent providers.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 1215 would apply to a broad range of claims including those involving injuries caused by medical negligence, defective medical devices, dangerous pharmaceuticals, and nursing home neglect and abuse.  The bill includes a federal cap on non-economic damages, imposes a federal statute of limitations for most claims, restricts attorneys’ fees, and grants blanket immunity to health care providers who prescribe a drug or device that was at any point approved by the FDA – even if that drug or device has since been proven to be dangerous.

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The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org