Updated: Apr 25, 2020
Sen Ralph Alvarado (R) sponsored legislation that created Medical Review Panels which would be made up of Doctors that would decide if you had a valid case for medical malpractice and if your case should be allowed to go forward in the courts. This was bad legislation because it limited your right to have your disputes settled in open court. No one should have their access to the judicial system controlled by an entity made up of people who have an interest in keeping legal actions against their industry to a minimum. It was passed but eventually ruled unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Similar legislation had been passed in other states around the country before Kentucky passed it and it had been found unconstitutional in several of those states as well.
Now Alvarado has another bill, SB 51 which would limit your non-economic damages in the event you were injured or died, or your property damaged. Non-economic damages are awarded because of the intangible or unforeseen result of the injury or death, non-economic damages can also be punitive, which are intended to be deterrents to the action that caused the issue in the first place. We assume since Alvarado didn't get what he wanted out of the Medical Review Panels he is seeking a broader approach through an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution, which would require a vote by the citizens. One could assume that if damages are limited this could result in malpractice insurance doctors have to carry not to be has high, thus saving doctors money. It is amazing the transparent lengths Alvarado will go through to protect the medical industry. Its no wonder he is doing this though, as he was involved in a home healthcare Medicare fraud case.
What's really bad about this bill is the broad nature of it. This would be any tort, so say if someone assaulted you it would be open to limitations. Currently the Constitution of Kentucky says that the legislature does not have the power to place limits on damages. Something like this should be left to the courts and the parties involved. But Alvarado seems willing to put everyone else at risk in all types of cases so he can include this new power in the Constitution, so he can then get the same result as his medical review panels, because you can guarantee next session if this passes we will see medical malpractice "tort reform"
At the bottom is a video that is funny but informative about how there really isn't an epidemic of frivolous lawsuits that needs to be limited. The video is by Adam Conover of College Humor, Adam Ruins Everything that airs on TruTV.
Call your the legislative hotline at 502-564-8100 or 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for your Senator, All Senate Leadership, and the Senate State and Local Government Committee Members and tell them you Oppose SB 51. The legislature should not be placing limits on legal damages.