Action Alert

February 12, 2003

Action Alert on HB2122 - Medical Malpractice "Tort Reform"

This bill, having passed both Houses is now in a joint House/Senate Conference Committee to work out the differences between what the House passed and the changes made in the Senate.
This Bill could get a lot worse in Conference Committee by reverting back to the horrendous House version. Please contact the House and Senate members below right away to help keep this bad legislation from getting  even worst!
The Senate made several improvements in the bill that are at risk in conference:
  • The cap on “non-economic damages” raised from $250,000 to $500,000 in cases of wrongful death, permanent disability or loss of limb;
  • Tightened the application of the $500,000 “Trauma Cap” for emergency care in hospitals, but extends the cap to emergency squads;
  • Eliminated the periodic payment requirement for large jury awards;
  • Reduced the 50% threshold to 25% on the chances that the patient would have survived if not for the malpractice;
  • Required the funding of a “Patient Injury Compensation Fund” by the legislature before the rule eliminating “joint liability” goes into effect;
  • Tinkered with the “collateral source” rule that allows jury awards to be reduced by the payments from the victims own insurance (adding insult to injury);
  • Sunsets (eliminates) all caps and limits if doctors fail to set up their own Physician’s Mutual Insurance company by 9/04.
  • Eliminated a personal income tax break for doctors that would have resulted in many Docs paying no income tax at all
  • Required Docs and insurance companies to ante up around $10 million to help fund their mutual insurance company
Below are the names and phone numbers of the Conference Committee
The message for House members is: "A one-size-fits-all cap on jury awards is not the right approach, please agree to the changes made in the Senate on HB2122"
The message for Senate members is: "Senate Judiciary and Finance made HB 2122 much better, please work to keep the Senate's amendments."
Below are the capitol phone numbers for Committee members.
You can also send them an e-mail message (with their name in the subject line) at legislative services at
Jon Amores 340-3252
Tim Armstead 340-3124
Kevin Craig 340-3118
Steven Kominar 340-3248
Virginia Mahan 340-3106

Walt Helmick 357-7980
Jeffrey Kessler 357-7880
Joseph Minard 357-7904
Sarah Minear 357-7914
Robert Plymale 357-7937

Thanks for your help!
Linda Mallet
WV-Citizen Action Group
1500 Dixie St., Charleston, WV  25311
304-346-5891 (phone); 304-346-8981 (fax)