TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Bob Martinez says he will sign new medical malpractice legislation into law Monday, putting a lid on soaring insurance premiums in Florida by limiting the legal rights of injured patients.
The Legislature passed the measure late Thursday, the last day of a three-day special session, after years of argument among the insurance, legal and medical professions about insurance costs and their effect on health care.
The high costs and fear of lawsuits prompted doctors in some specialties and South Florida emergency rooms and trauma centers to curtail services and refuse to take new patients.
Creates Arbitration System
The bill sets up a compensation plan for babies brain-damaged at birth, provisions to give the state more authority to crack down on doctors who commit repeated malpractice and a voluntary but binding arbitration system designed to keep malpractice claims out of the courts.