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Potentially limiting legal recourse in birth injury cases

Any time anyone feels that they were subjected to the negligence and/or hurtful actions of another, they have the right to seek legal counsel and pursue a case against the liable party. In the event that a child is hurt, it's often the responsibility of their family to act on their behalf and ensure that their safety and medical needs are accounted for. One state is currently considering legislation that would affect some medical malpractice guidelines and put legal restraints on birth injury victims and their families.

The state of Maryland is considering the passage of a bill similar to one already in place in New York, creating a fund to cover the ongoing medical expenses of birth injury victims. Right now, many birth injury cases lead to medical malpractice lawsuits and litigation, and can take years to resolve. The proposed bill, which was introduced by a Baltimore senator, would account for the medical and care needs of victims under the stipulation that they would be prohibited from pursuing malpractice claims against a physician or medical facility.

Opponents of the proposed measure argue that medical malpractice lawsuits are an effective way of holding medical providers accountable for mistakes. Beyond that, they claim that some victims require a level of ongoing care that may not be covered under the fund.

Those that support the bill say that there would still be ways to take legal and disciplinary action against liable parties. Many also argue that the measure would address the issue of high lawsuit awards and increasing malpractice insurance costs faced by many hospitals and doctors. If the bill passes, the senator argues that it would provide victims and their families with immediate access to the resources and care they need.

Source: wbaltv.com, “Legislators push Maryland birth injury fund,” David Collins, Feb. 28, 2014

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