Summary: S.354 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.354. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/10/2005)

Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare Act of 2005 or the HEALTH Act of 2005 - Sets forth provisions regulating lawsuits for health care liability claims concerning the provisions of health care goods or services or any medical product affecting interstate commerce.

Sets a statute of limitations of three years after the date of manifestation of injury or one year after the claimant discovers the injury, with certain exceptions.

Provides that nothing in this Act limits recovery of the full amount of available economic damages. Limits noneconomic damages to $250,000. Makes each party liable only for the amount of damages directly proportional to such party's percentage of responsibility.

Allows the court to restrict the payment of attorney contingency fees. Limits the fees to a decreasing percentage based on the increasing value of the amount awarded.

Prescribes qualifications for expert witnesses.

Requires the court to reduce damages received by the amount of collateral source benefits to which a claimant is entitled, unless the payor of such benefits has the right to reimbursement or subrogation under Federal or State law.

Authorizes the award of punitive damages only where: (1) it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a person acted with malicious intent to injure the claimant or deliberately failed to avoid unnecessary injury such person knew the claimant was substantially certain to suffer; and (2) compensatory damages are awarded. Limits punitive damages to the greater of two times the amount of economic damages or $250,000.

Prohibits a health care provider from being named as a party in a product liability or class action lawsuit for prescribing or dispensing an Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription drug or device.

Provides for periodic payments of future damage awards.