Summary: H.R.1124 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1124. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (03/06/2003)

Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 2003 - Amends the Public Health Service Act to permit the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, to award grants or contracts to geographic areas that have shortages of one or more types of health providers due to the cost of maintaining malpractice insurance.

Declares that medical malpractice actions shall be barred unless the complaint is within three years after the right of action accrues. Sets forth criteria for determining the date on which the right of action accrues.

Requires the attorney of a person filing a medical malpractice liability action, or the individual if there is no attorney, to sign a certificate of merit attesting to the justified nature of the action.

Directs courts to impose sanctions for violations of the provisions pertaining to the certificate of merit. States that any sanction or relief available under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure shall be available under the provisions pertaining to the certificate of merit.

Prohibits punitive damages from being awarded in a medical malpractice action except upon proof of gross negligence, reckless indifference to life, or one of various types of intentional acts.

Requires medical malpractice liability insurance companies to implement a plan to dedicate at least 50 percent of the annual savings from carrying out this section to reducing malpractice premiums. Imposes a civil penalty on medical malpractice liability insurance companies that violate this section.

Establishes the Independent Advisory Commission on Medical Malpractice Insurance, which shall investigate the recent dramatic increases in medical malpractice insurance premiums and formulate proposals to reduce such premiums.