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Brooks Schuelke
Brooks Schuelke
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Medical Malpractice Reform Criticized by W. Va. Supreme Court Justice

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Last week, the West Virginia Supreme Court was faced with the question of whether the state’s medical malpractice reforms (including damage caps and requirements of pre-suit expert reports) applied to a claim against a hospital for providing contaminated sutures. The court eventually found that the reforms applied.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Larry Starcher railed on the malpractice reforms:

I dissent to express my hope that, in the future, the court or the Legislature will recognize the absurd and unconstitutional effects of the (reform) and either strike down or repeal (the reform in its entirety.

Application of the (reform) to the instant case clearly demonstrates the absurdity of the (act), and demonstrates why the Legislature should exercise restraint when it attempts to meddle with centuries-old common law principles.

Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court and other Texas appellate courts have been willing to apply the Texas medical malpractice laws to even more extreme situations, such as a claim against a doctor for sexually assaulting a patient or a claim arising out of a physician’s disclosure of confidential information.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.