Text: H.R.1215 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Referred in Senate (06/29/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 1215 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1215


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 29, 2017

   Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved 
  medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system 
               places on the health care delivery system.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting Access 
to Care Act of 2017''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Encouraging speedy resolution of claims.
Sec. 3. Compensating patient injury.
Sec. 4. Maximizing patient recovery.
Sec. 5. Authorization of payment of future damages to claimants in 
                            health care lawsuits.
Sec. 6. Product liability for health care providers.
Sec. 7. Definitions.
Sec. 8. Effect on other laws.
Sec. 9. Rules of construction.
Sec. 10. Effective date.
Sec. 11. Limitation on expert witness testimony.
Sec. 12. Communications following unanticipated outcome.
Sec. 13. Expert witness qualifications.
Sec. 14. Affidavit of merit.
Sec. 15. Notice of intent to commence lawsuit.

SEC. 2. ENCOURAGING SPEEDY RESOLUTION OF CLAIMS.

    (a) Statute of Limitations.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the 
        time for the commencement of a health care lawsuit shall be, 
        whichever occurs first of the following:
                    (A) 3 years after the date of the occurrence of the 
                breach or tort;
                    (B) 3 years after the date the medical or health 
                care treatment that is the subject of the claim is 
                completed; or
                    (C) 1 year after the claimant discovers, or through 
                the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, 
                the injury.
            (2) Tolling.--In no event shall the time for commencement 
        of a health care lawsuit exceed 3 years after the date of the 
        occurrence of the breach or tort or 3 years after the date the 
        medical or health care treatment that is the subject of the 
        claim is completed (whichever occurs first) unless tolled for 
        any of the following--
                    (A) upon proof of fraud;
                    (B) intentional concealment; or
                    (C) the presence of a foreign body, which has no 
                therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the 
                person of the injured person.
            (3) Actions by a minor.--Actions by a minor shall be 
        commenced within 3 years after the date of the occurrence of 
        the breach or tort or 3 years after the date of the medical or 
        health care treatment that is the subject of the claim is 
        completed (whichever occurs first) except that actions by a 
        minor under the full age of 6 years shall be commenced within 3 
        years after the date of the occurrence of the breach or tort, 3 
        years after the date of the medical or health care treatment 
        that is the subject of the claim is completed, or 1 year after 
        the injury is discovered, or through the use of reasonable 
        diligence should have been discovered, or prior to the minor's 
        8th birthday, whichever provides a longer period. Such time 
        limitation shall be tolled for minors for any period during 
        which a parent or guardian and a health care provider have 
        committed fraud or collusion in the failure to bring an action 
        on behalf of the injured minor.
    (b) State Flexibility.--No provision of subsection (a) shall be 
construed to preempt any state law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that--
            (1) specifies a time period of less than 3 years after the 
        date of injury or less than 1 year after the claimant 
        discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should 
        have discovered, the injury, for the filing of a health care 
        lawsuit;
            (2) that specifies a different time period for the filing 
        of lawsuits by a minor;
            (3) that triggers the time period based on the date of the 
        alleged negligence; or
            (4) establishes a statute of repose for the filing of 
        health care lawsuit.

SEC. 3. COMPENSATING PATIENT INJURY.

    (a) Unlimited Amount of Damages for Actual Economic Losses in 
Health Care Lawsuits.--In any health care lawsuit, nothing in this Act 
shall limit a claimant's recovery of the full amount of the available 
economic damages, notwithstanding the limitation in subsection (b).
    (b) Additional Noneconomic Damages.--In any health care lawsuit, 
the amount of noneconomic damages, if available, shall not exceed 
$250,000, regardless of the number of parties against whom the action 
is brought or the number of separate claims or actions brought with 
respect to the same injury.
    (c) No Discount of Award for Noneconomic Damages.--For purposes of 
applying the limitation in subsection (b), future noneconomic damages 
shall not be discounted to present value. The jury shall not be 
informed about the maximum award for noneconomic damages. An award for 
noneconomic damages in excess of $250,000 shall be reduced either 
before the entry of judgment, or by amendment of the judgment after 
entry of judgment, and such reduction shall be made before accounting 
for any other reduction in damages required by law. If separate awards 
are rendered for past and future noneconomic damages and the combined 
awards exceed $250,000, the future noneconomic damages shall be reduced 
first.
    (d) Fair Share Rule.--In any health care lawsuit, each party shall 
be liable for that party's several share of any damages only and not 
for the share of any other person. Each party shall be liable only for 
the amount of damages allocated to such party in direct proportion to 
such party's percentage of responsibility. Whenever a judgment of 
liability is rendered as to any party, a separate judgment shall be 
rendered against each such party for the amount allocated to such 
party. For purposes of this section, the trier of fact shall determine 
the proportion of responsibility of each party for the claimant's harm.
    (e) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that specifies a 
particular monetary amount of economic or noneconomic damages (or the 
total amount of damages) that may be awarded in a health care lawsuit, 
regardless of whether such monetary amount is greater or lesser than is 
provided for under this section.

SEC. 4. MAXIMIZING PATIENT RECOVERY.

    (a) Court Supervision of Share of Damages Actually Paid to 
Claimants.--In any health care lawsuit, the court shall supervise the 
arrangements for payment of damages to protect against conflicts of 
interest that may have the effect of reducing the amount of damages 
awarded that are actually paid to claimants. In particular, in any 
health care lawsuit in which the attorney for a party claims a 
financial stake in the outcome by virtue of a contingent fee, the court 
shall have the power to restrict the payment of a claimant's damage 
recovery to such attorney, and to redirect such damages to the claimant 
based upon the interests of justice and principles of equity. In no 
event shall the total of all contingent fees for representing all 
claimants in a health care lawsuit exceed the following limits:
            (1) Forty percent of the first $50,000 recovered by the 
        claimant(s).
            (2) Thirty-three and one-third percent of the next $50,000 
        recovered by the claimant(s).
            (3) Twenty-five percent of the next $500,000 recovered by 
        the claimant(s).
            (4) Fifteen percent of any amount by which the recovery by 
        the claimant(s) is in excess of $600,000.
    (b) Applicability.--The limitations in this section shall apply 
whether the recovery is by judgment, settlement, mediation, 
arbitration, or any other form of alternative dispute resolution. In a 
health care lawsuit involving a minor or incompetent person, a court 
retains the authority to authorize or approve a fee that is less than 
the maximum permitted under this section. The requirement for court 
supervision in the first two sentences of subsection (a) applies only 
in civil actions.
    (c) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that specifies a lesser 
percentage or lesser total value of damages which may be claimed by an 
attorney representing a claimant in a health care lawsuit.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENT OF FUTURE DAMAGES TO CLAIMANTS IN 
              HEALTH CARE LAWSUITS.

    (a) In General.--In any health care lawsuit, if an award of future 
damages, without reduction to present value, equaling or exceeding 
$50,000 is made against a party with sufficient insurance or other 
assets to fund a periodic payment of such a judgment, the court shall, 
at the request of any party, enter a judgment ordering that the future 
damages be paid by periodic payments, in accordance with the Uniform 
Periodic Payment of Judgments Act promulgated by the National 
Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
    (b) Applicability.--This section applies to all actions which have 
not been first set for trial or retrial before the effective date of 
this Act.
    (c) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that specifies periodic 
payments for future damages at any amount other than $50,000 or that 
mandates such payments absent the request of either party.

SEC. 6. PRODUCT LIABILITY FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS.

    A health care provider who prescribes, or who dispenses pursuant to 
a prescription, a medical product approved, licensed, or cleared by the 
Food and Drug Administration shall not be named as a party to a product 
liability lawsuit involving such product and shall not be liable to a 
claimant in a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer, 
distributor, or seller of such product.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Alternative dispute resolution system; adr.--The term 
        ``alternative dispute resolution system'' or ``ADR'' means a 
        system that provides for the resolution of health care lawsuits 
        in a manner other than through a civil action brought in a 
        State or Federal court.
            (2) Claimant.--The term ``claimant'' means any person who 
        brings a health care lawsuit, including a person who asserts or 
        claims a right to legal or equitable contribution, indemnity, 
        or subrogation, arising out of a health care liability claim or 
        action, and any person on whose behalf such a claim is asserted 
        or such an action is brought, whether deceased, incompetent, or 
        a minor.
            (3) Collateral source benefits.--The term ``collateral 
        source benefits'' means any amount paid or reasonably likely to 
        be paid in the future to or on behalf of the claimant, or any 
        service, product, or other benefit provided or reasonably 
        likely to be provided in the future to or on behalf of the 
        claimant, as a result of the injury or wrongful death, pursuant 
        to--
                    (A) any State or Federal health, sickness, income-
                disability, accident, or workers' compensation law;
                    (B) any health, sickness, income-disability, or 
                accident insurance that provides health benefits or 
                income-disability coverage;
                    (C) any contract or agreement of any group, 
                organization, partnership, or corporation to provide, 
                pay for, or reimburse the cost of medical, hospital, 
                dental, or income-disability benefits; and
                    (D) any other publicly or privately funded program.
            (4) Contingent fee.--The term ``contingent fee'' includes 
        all compensation to any person or persons which is payable only 
        if a recovery is effected on behalf of one or more claimants.
            (5) Economic damages.--The term ``economic damages'' means 
        objectively verifiable monetary losses incurred as a result of 
        the provision or use of (or failure to provide or use) health 
        care services or medical products, such as past and future 
        medical expenses, loss of past and future earnings, cost of 
        obtaining domestic services, loss of employment, and loss of 
        business or employment opportunities, unless otherwise defined 
        under applicable state law. In no circumstances shall damages 
        for health care services or medical products exceed the amount 
        actually paid or incurred by or on behalf of the claimant.
            (6) Future damages.--The term ``future damages'' means any 
        damages that are incurred after the date of judgment, 
        settlement, or other resolution (including mediation, or any 
        other form of alternative dispute resolution).
            (7) Health care lawsuit.--The term ``health care lawsuit'' 
        means any health care liability claim concerning the provision 
        of goods or services for which coverage was provided in whole 
        or in part via a Federal program, subsidy or tax benefit, or 
        any health care liability action concerning the provision of 
        goods or services for which coverage was provided in whole or 
        in part via a Federal program, subsidy or tax benefit, brought 
        in a State or Federal court or pursuant to an alternative 
        dispute resolution system, against a health care provider 
        regardless of the theory of liability on which the claim is 
        based, or the number of claimants, plaintiffs, defendants, or 
        other parties, or the number of claims or causes of action, in 
        which the claimant alleges a health care liability claim. Such 
        term does not include a claim or action which is based on 
        criminal liability; which seeks civil fines or penalties paid 
        to Federal, State, or local government; or which is grounded in 
        antitrust.
            (8) Health care liability action.--The term ``health care 
        liability action'' means a civil action brought in a State or 
        Federal court or pursuant to an alternative dispute resolution 
        system, against a health care provider regardless of the theory 
        of liability on which the claim is based, or the number of 
        plaintiffs, defendants, or other parties, or the number of 
        causes of action, in which the claimant alleges a health care 
        liability claim.
            (9) Health care liability claim.--The term ``health care 
        liability claim'' means a demand by any person, whether or not 
        pursuant to ADR, against a health care provider, including, but 
        not limited to, third-party claims, cross-claims, counter-
        claims, or contribution claims, which are based upon the 
        provision or use of (or the failure to provide or use) health 
        care services or medical products, regardless of the theory of 
        liability on which the claim is based, or the number of 
        plaintiffs, defendants, or other parties, or the number of 
        causes of action.
            (10) Health care provider.--The term ``health care 
        provider'' means any person or entity required by State or 
        Federal laws or regulations to be licensed, registered, or 
        certified to provide health care services, and being either so 
        licensed, registered, or certified, or exempted from such 
        requirement by other statute or regulation, as well as any 
        other individual or entity defined as a health care provider, 
        health care professional, or health care institution under 
        state law.
            (11) Health care services.--The term ``health care 
        services'' means the provision of any goods or services 
        (including safety, professional, or administrative services 
        directly related to health care) by a health care provider, or 
        by any individual working under the supervision of a health 
        care provider, that relates to the diagnosis, prevention, or 
        treatment of any human disease or impairment, or the assessment 
        or care of the health of human beings.
            (12) Medical product.--The term ``medical product'' means a 
        drug, device, or biological product intended for humans, and 
        the terms ``drug'', ``device'', and ``biological product'' have 
        the meanings given such terms in sections 201(g)(1) and 201(h) 
        of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321(g)(1) 
        and (h)) and section 351(a) of the Public Health Service Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 262(a)), respectively, including any component or 
        raw material used therein, but excluding health care services.
            (13) Noneconomic damages.--The term ``noneconomic damages'' 
        means damages for physical and emotional pain, suffering, 
        inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, 
        disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and 
        companionship, loss of consortium (other than loss of domestic 
        service), hedonic damages, injury to reputation, and all other 
        nonpecuniary losses of any kind or nature incurred as a result 
        of the provision or use of (or failure to provide or use) 
        health care services or medical products, unless otherwise 
        defined under applicable state law.
            (14) Recovery.--The term ``recovery'' means the net sum 
        recovered after deducting any disbursements or costs incurred 
        in connection with prosecution or settlement of the claim, 
        including all costs paid or advanced by any person. Costs of 
        health care incurred by the plaintiff and the attorneys' office 
        overhead costs or charges for legal services are not deductible 
        disbursements or costs for such purpose.
            (15) Representative.--The term ``representative'' means a 
        legal guardian, attorney, person designated to make decisions 
        on behalf of a patient under a medical power of attorney, or 
        any person recognized in law or custom as a patient's agent.
            (16) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
        Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern 
        Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, 
        and any other territory or possession of the United States, or 
        any political subdivision thereof.

SEC. 8. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS.

    (a) Vaccine Injury.--
            (1) To the extent that title XXI of the Public Health 
        Service Act establishes a Federal rule of law applicable to a 
        civil action brought for a vaccine-related injury or death--
                    (A) this Act does not affect the application of the 
                rule of law to such an action; and
                    (B) any rule of law prescribed by this Act in 
                conflict with a rule of law of such title XXI shall not 
                apply to such action.
            (2) If there is an aspect of a civil action brought for a 
        vaccine-related injury or death to which a Federal rule of law 
        under title XXI of the Public Health Service Act does not 
        apply, then this Act or otherwise applicable law (as determined 
        under this Act) will apply to such aspect of such action.
    (b) Other Federal Law.--Except as provided in this section, nothing 
in this Act shall be deemed to affect any defense available to a 
defendant in a health care lawsuit or action under any other provision 
of Federal law.

SEC. 9. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

    (a) Health Care Lawsuits.--Unless otherwise specified in this Act, 
the provisions governing health care lawsuits set forth in this Act 
preempt, subject to subsections (b) and (c), State law to the extent 
that State law prevents the application of any provisions of law 
established by or under this Act. The provisions governing health care 
lawsuits set forth in this Act supersede chapter 171 of title 28, 
United States Code, to the extent that such chapter--
            (1) provides for a greater amount of damages or contingent 
        fees, a longer period in which a health care lawsuit may be 
        commenced, or a reduced applicability or scope of periodic 
        payment of future damages, than provided in this Act; or
            (2) prohibits the introduction of evidence regarding 
        collateral source benefits, or mandates or permits subrogation 
        or a lien on collateral source benefits.
    (b) Protection of States' Rights and Other Laws.--Any issue that is 
not governed by any provision of law established by or under this Act 
(including State standards of negligence) shall be governed by 
otherwise applicable State or Federal law.
    (c) State Flexibility.--No provision of this Act shall be construed 
to preempt any defense available to a party in a health care lawsuit 
under any other provision of State or Federal law.

SEC. 10. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall apply to any health care lawsuit brought in a 
Federal or State court, or subject to an alternative dispute resolution 
system, that is initiated on or after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, except that any health care lawsuit arising from an injury 
occurring prior to the date of the enactment of this Act shall be 
governed by the applicable statute of limitations provisions in effect 
at the time the cause of action accrued.

SEC. 11. LIMITATION ON EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY.

    (a) In General.--No person in a health care profession requiring 
licensure under the laws of a State shall be competent to testify in 
any court of law to establish the following facts--
            (1) the recognized standard of acceptable professional 
        practice and the specialty thereof, if any, that the defendant 
        practices, which shall be the type of acceptable professional 
        practice recognized in the defendant's community or in a 
        community similar to the defendant's community that was in 
        place at the time the alleged injury or wrongful action 
        occurred;
            (2) that the defendant acted with less than or failed to 
        act with ordinary and reasonable care in accordance with the 
        recognized standard; and
            (3) that as a proximate result of the defendant's negligent 
        act or omission, the claimant suffered injuries which would not 
        otherwise have occurred,
unless the person was licensed to practice, in the State or a 
contiguous bordering State, a profession or specialty which would make 
the person's expert testimony relevant to the issues in the case and 
had practiced this profession or specialty in one of these States 
during the year preceding the date that the alleged injury or wrongful 
act occurred.
    (b) Applicability.--The requirements set forth in subsection (a) 
shall also apply to expert witnesses testifying for the defendant as 
rebuttal witnesses.
    (c) Waiver Authority.--The court may waive the requirements in this 
subsection if it determines that the appropriate witnesses otherwise 
would not be available.

SEC. 12. COMMUNICATIONS FOLLOWING UNANTICIPATED OUTCOME.

    (a) Provider Communications.--In any health care liability action, 
any and all statements, affirmations, gestures, or conduct expressing 
apology, fault, sympathy, commiseration, condolence, compassion, or a 
general sense of benevolence which are made by a health care provider 
or an employee of a health care provider to the patient, a relative of 
the patient, or a representative of the patient and which relate to the 
discomfort, pain, suffering, injury, or death of the patient as the 
result of the unanticipated outcome of medical care shall be 
inadmissible for any purpose as evidence of an admission of liability 
or as evidence of an admission against interest.
    (b) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that makes additional 
communications inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or 
as evidence of an admission against interest.

SEC. 13. EXPERT WITNESS QUALIFICATIONS.

    (a) In General.--In any health care lawsuit, an individual shall 
not give expert testimony on the appropriate standard of practice or 
care involved unless the individual is licensed as a health 
professional in one or more States and the individual meets the 
following criteria:
            (1) If the party against whom or on whose behalf the 
        testimony is to be offered is or claims to be a specialist, the 
        expert witness shall specialize at the time of the occurrence 
        that is the basis for the lawsuit in the same specialty or 
        claimed specialty as the party against whom or on whose behalf 
        the testimony is to be offered. If the party against whom or on 
        whose behalf the testimony is to be offered is or claims to be 
        a specialist who is board certified, the expert witness shall 
        be a specialist who is board certified in that specialty or 
        claimed specialty.
            (2) During the 1-year period immediately preceding the 
        occurrence of the action that gave rise to the lawsuit, the 
        expert witness shall have devoted a majority of the 
        individual's professional time to one or more of the following:
                    (A) The active clinical practice of the same health 
                profession as the defendant and, if the defendant is or 
                claims to be a specialist, in the same specialty or 
                claimed specialty.
                    (B) The instruction of students in an accredited 
                health professional school or accredited residency or 
                clinical research program in the same health profession 
                as the defendant and, if the defendant is or claims to 
                be a specialist, in an accredited health professional 
                school or accredited residency or clinical research 
                program in the same specialty or claimed specialty.
            (3) If the defendant is a general practitioner, the expert 
        witness shall have devoted a majority of the witness's 
        professional time in the 1-year period preceding the occurrence 
        of the action giving rise to the lawsuit to one or more of the 
        following:
                    (A) Active clinical practice as a general 
                practitioner.
                    (B) Instruction of students in an accredited health 
                professional school or accredited residency or clinical 
                research program in the same health profession as the 
                defendant.
    (b) Lawsuits Against Entities.--If the defendant in a health care 
lawsuit is an entity that employs a person against whom or on whose 
behalf the testimony is offered, the provisions of subsection (a) apply 
as if the person were the party or defendant against whom or on whose 
behalf the testimony is offered.
    (c) Power of Court.--Nothing in this subsection shall limit the 
power of the trial court in a health care lawsuit to disqualify an 
expert witness on grounds other than the qualifications set forth under 
this subsection.
    (d) Limitation.--An expert witness in a health care lawsuit shall 
not be permitted to testify if the fee of the witness is in any way 
contingent on the outcome of the lawsuit.
    (e) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that places additional 
qualification requirements upon any individual testifying as an expert 
witness.

SEC. 14. AFFIDAVIT OF MERIT.

    (a) Required Filing.--Subject to subsection (b), the plaintiff in a 
health care lawsuit alleging negligence or, if the plaintiff is 
represented by an attorney, the plaintiff's attorney shall file 
simultaneously with the health care lawsuit an affidavit of merit 
signed by a health professional who meets the requirements for an 
expert witness under section 14 of this Act. The affidavit of merit 
shall certify that the health professional has reviewed the notice and 
all medical records supplied to him or her by the plaintiff's attorney 
concerning the allegations contained in the notice and shall contain a 
statement of each of the following:
            (1) The applicable standard of practice or care.
            (2) The health professional's opinion that the applicable 
        standard of practice or care was breached by the health 
        professional or health facility receiving the notice.
            (3) The actions that should have been taken or omitted by 
        the health professional or health facility in order to have 
        complied with the applicable standard of practice or care.
            (4) The manner in which the breach of the standard of 
        practice or care was the proximate cause of the injury alleged 
        in the notice.
            (5) A listing of the medical records reviewed.
    (b) Filing Extension.--Upon motion of a party for good cause shown, 
the court in which the complaint is filed may grant the plaintiff or, 
if the plaintiff is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff's 
attorney an additional 28 days in which to file the affidavit required 
under subsection (a).
    (c) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that establishes 
additional requirements for the filing of an affidavit of merit or 
similar pre-litigation documentation.

SEC. 15. NOTICE OF INTENT TO COMMENCE LAWSUIT.

    (a) Advance Notice.--A person shall not commence a health care 
lawsuit against a health care provider unless the person has given the 
health care provider 90 days written notice before the action is 
commenced.
    (b) Exceptions.--A health care lawsuit against a health care 
provider filed within 6 months of the statute of limitations expiring 
as to any claimant, or within 1 year of the statute of repose expiring 
as to any claimant, shall be exempt from compliance with this section.
    (c) State Flexibility.--No provision of this section shall be 
construed to preempt any State law (whether effective before, on, or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act) that establishes a 
different time period for the filing of written notice.

            Passed the House of Representatives June 28, 2017.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.