Tort Reform Essay

1757 Words8 Pages
A tort can be best defined as an “injury or loss that was committed deliberately or negligently by a single person or an entity”(4). Under the United State’s system of tort liability, courts can hold the injuring party liable in what is known as a tort case. As medical malpractice tort cases began attracting criticism and blame for the declining state of health care, including the increase in insurance liability costs and lack of affordable health care, Georgia looked to tort reform as a solution. With the passage of Tort Reform Act of 2005, referred to as Senate Bill 3, caps on damages was introduced as a solution to what the Georgia Assembly deemed the, "crisis affecting the provision and quality of health care services in this state."(3) The provisions concerning caps on damages have been one Georgia’s most controversial and debated tort reform measures. Since 2005, challenges to the constitutionality of caps on damages have been brought and decided on before the Georgia Supreme Court. Georgia’s complex past, present and future status of damage caps can be seen by examining the state’s original reasoning behind Senate Bill 3 and the Georgia Supreme Court’s rulings and opinions of the subsequent court case, Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt et al. (Case No. S09A1432). The provisions for caps on noneconomic damages (O.C.G.A. § 51-13-1) originated from Georgia’s most extensive tort reform measures in 2005, Senate Bill 3. The bill came as a response to the growing concern over the “provisions and quality” (3) of health care in Georgia. During the hearings prior to the bill’s passing, the Georgia Assembly heard views from both sides of the tort reform debate. Supporters of tort reform cited concern over the extensive awards and settlements given by juries, many which resulted in higher medical malpractice insurance premiums and impacted affordable
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