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North Carolina lawyers, doctors agree on malpractice cap

Physician Practice Advisor, May 23, 2007

In a turnaround from previous years, North Carolina's doctors and lawyers have agreed to jointly support a bill that would cap monetary damages at $1 million in some medical malpractice cases, The Fayetteville Observer reports.

The North Carolina Medical Society and the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers have endorsed legislation currently under debate that caps monetary damages in negligence cases only for those who agree to go to binding arbitration. Under the bill, plaintiffs and defendants in a patient negligence lawsuit against a doctor or hospital could agree to settle their case under binding arbitration, and the two sides could agree on an arbitrator or ask a court to select one.

The measure stipulates that legislators must seek hearings to begin no later than 10 months after agreeing to enter the procedure and the arbitrator would have to issue a decision within two weeks of the hearing's close.

Click here to read The Fayetteville Observer article.