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By the narrowist of margins, the Arizona House of Representatives defeated attempts make it more difficult for victims ot medical malpractice to bring lawsuits. The bill had already passed the Senate. A similar bill last year was vetoed by Governor Napolitano. The doctors and their allies claimed the bill was needed because they contend frivolous lawsuits scare doctors away from Arizona. They also contend that frivolous lawsuits raise medical malpractice rates. Victim’s advocates counter by stating that there is no empirical evidence of frivolous lawsuits or doctors leaving Arizona. Michael A. Ferrara, Jr., a past president of the New Jersey Trial Lawyer’s Association, contends that

doctors are being gouged by their insurance companies and that the doctors should sue their insurance companies as was done successfully in California. That lawsuit resulted in the the insurance companies refunding millions of dollars back to the doctors because of overcharged premiums. Ferrara also points out that since attorneys are only paid if they win, there is a disincentive to file so-called frivolous lawsuits. If the case has no merit, it will be dismissed by the judge or the jury will toss it. Why would someone spend $50,000 of her or his own money to bring a case that was frivolous, Ferrara asked.

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