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Long-Term Care Consumers Family Members Advocates

Protect Long-Term Care Consumers’ Right to Recover Pain and Suffering Damages!

The House of Representatives will be voting on legislation, H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act, which will significantly strip away an individual’s right to justice through the courts in the event they are harmed or killed by a health care provider, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

The House of Representatives will be voting on this legislation as early as Thursday, June 15, 2017.   Tell your representative in Congress to oppose H.R. 1215!

The bill:

-Caps pain and suffering compensation (also known as non-economic damages*) at $250,000.  This $250,000 cap will even apply in states that have deemed such a cap unconstitutional.

-Mandates a statute of limitations (the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit) that is more restrictive than most states’ existing statute of limitations.  The bill proposes 3 years after the date of injury or 1 year after the consumer discovers the injury.

-Prohibits patients from receiving the full award from a jury in a lump sum.  Damages over $50,000 must be paid periodically, which leaves long-term care consumers without the necessary resources to access care. 

-Provides immunity to any health care provider licensed to prescribe or dispense a prescription drug, even if it was negligently prescribed or administered.

-Limits a consumer’s ability to bring one lawsuit against each of the entities responsible for their injuries and have the fault apportioned among them.  This provides an extra source of burden on the consumer and their families to bring multiple lawsuits against all responsible parties.  Because of this extra burden, other entities who caused the consumer harm are unlikely to be punished.

-Severely limits attorney’s fees, which will cause even fewer attorneys to take these time-consuming cases and limit the overall amount of claims brought. 

H.R. 1215 has extremely negative implications for long-term care consumers.  All of these restrictions will work together to reduce consumers’ access to justice in the courts.  Long-term care consumers need the justice provided by courts in cases where health care providers have committed abuse, neglect, or medical malpractice.  Without the courts, long-term care consumers have no other available remedy to compensate them and their families for the horrific pain and suffering they have endured.  Court cases also serve as a deterrent to poor care.

To view our fact sheet on H.R. 1215, click here.

*Damages are any sum of money awarded in compensation for a loss or injury.  Non-economic damages include awards compensating the loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, anxiety, pain and suffering.

Enter your zip code below NOW and
tell your representative in Congress to VOTE NO to H.R. 1215.

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