By Rina Miller, Michigan Radio
There's a bipartisan fight growing in the state legislature over Michigan's medical malpractice laws.
In 1995, tort reform in Michigan made it more difficult to file a medical malpractice suit and get a jury trial. The law also put limits on monetary settlements.
Now a package of Republican-led Senate bills would further limit medical malpractice cases. Among other things, they would require proof that a physician's negligence was intentional. The medical and insurance industries support the measures.
But House Democrats have their own bills to counter the GOP effort. Representative Jeff Irwin says tort reform is already too aggressive in Michigan.
“We're so concerned about frivolous lawsuits that have been so well advertised that we're willing to take away the rights of very real injured families and children and adults in the state of Michigan,” he says.
Irwin says the Senate bills would shield doctors from liability as long as they say they tried their best.
But supporters say the reform would protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits and help contain rising medical costs.