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Shapiro & Appleton

Drugmakers May Be Protected From Lawsuits if South Carolina (SC) Bill Passes

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A medical malpractice reform bill that recently cleared the State Senate in South Carolina (SC) has been sent to the House-and the version they're considering would protect drug manufacturers from liability in lawsuits.

The draft legislation was presented on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, to the House Select Committee on Tort Reform. The draft would also lower the cap on noneconomic damages, including such as pain and suffering, to $250,000 from each defendant. Currently, there is no limit on those types of damages; the Senate bill would cap them at $500,000.

The House bill differs from the Senate bill in several other ways, including punitive damages, which are monetary penalties meant to punish a party for wrongdoing. According to the draft of the Senate bill, punitive awards exceeding $100,000 would not go to the plaintiff, as they do now. Instead, only one-fourth of the amount over $100,000 would go to the plaintiff; the rest would go to a state fund used to support public schools.

Finally, the proposed bill would protect drug makers and sellers from liability in lawsuits if their product had been approved by government regulators. According to committee chairman and Lincolnton Republican Johnathan Rhyne, Jr., the bill is expected to be filed in the next day or two.

Patient advocates and personal injury attorneys should be appalled at this potential bill. Victims of faulty drugs should be awarded fair compensation by a jury-not have that compensation taken away from them. If you or a loved one was injured by a dangerous drug, contact our attorneys for a free consultation
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IW


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