The State of New York has set up a fund to cover birth injury lawsuit damages. The fund will begin this year and will last into 2014. The total cost is estimated to be $320 million. The birth injury fund is being criticized for potentially helping guilty doctors and hospitals get away with smaller malpractice premiums.
This year, the fund will pay $30 million in birth injury costs, $70 million the following year, $70 million again in the third year, and $100 million in the last year.
For injured victims and their families, nothing will change. If they win or settle a case, the fund will assess whether the case qualifies for funding. If it does, the state will pay "for the child's lifetime medical costs." In other words, the government will now pay compensatory damages. It will not pay punitive damages and it will not pay attorneys' fees. Thus, erring doctors and hospitals will still have to pay as a form of compensation to the injured victims.
Some are still afraid that lower costs to guilty defendants will be weaker deterrents to malpractice. But the medical community, which is largely in favor of the legislation, assures the public that an additional new state board will be set up to monitor proper medical protocol while delivering babies.
If you would like more information about how medical malpractice and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational NY Medical Malpractice video blog. If you have legal questions, pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.