Medical Malpractice Damages Cap
Senator Bill Stanley has introduced SB 1107 – a bill to eliminate Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Damages Cap. The current Medical Malpractice Damages Cap is the result of a longstanding legislative compromise. In 2010 and 2011, Virginia’s healthcare providers and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) reached consensus on updates to the malpractice cap and the General Assembly passed the legislation to raise the cap annually until 2032. The model that was developed created stability and certainty for all stakeholders, while ensuring the costs of healthcare would remain affordable for Virginia patients.
The MSV’s Position on Removing the Medical Malpractice Damages Cap
The MSV strongly opposes any legislation that would remove the current medical malpractice damages cap. The MSV is joined by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in supporting Virginia’s existing medical malpractice cap. Eliminating the cap will add extra costs for patients seeking a lawyer and potentially create barriers to entry for patients seeking qualified representation. See MSV Policy – 15.3.02 – Medical Malpractice Cap on Damages.
Issue Background Facts
- Medical Malpractice Caps Keep Healthcare Spending Low
- The Congressional Budget Office estimated that enacting federal legislation that caps noneconomic damages at $250,000 would reduce total national healthcare spending by about 0.5%.
- Healthcare in the Commonwealth is Currently Facing a Crisis of Price, Access, and a Pandemic
- The COVID-19 pandemic has already placed additional financial stressors on healthcare providers in Virginia that could reduce the number of doctors practicing in Virginia.
- Removing the Medical Malpractice Cap Will Add Costs for Patients
- Eliminating the medical malpractice cap will add extra costs for patients. New expenses incurred by providers and hospitals will only make the costs of care grow more burdensome.