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Monday, October 10, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - Georgia's Supreme Court to Hear Tort Reform Case

CBS 46 Atlanta - Georgia's Supreme Court to Hear Tort Reform CaseGeorgia's Supreme Court to Hear Tort Reform Case
Oct 10, 2005, 05:14 PM

ATLANTA (AP) -- Opposing lawyers are preparing to face off over a state law that gives medical malpractice defendants the right to choose their home county as the site of a lawsuit if that's where the offense occurred.

Oral arguments in the closely watched case will be heard tomorrow before the Georgia Supreme Court.

At issue is the venue portion of a law passed by the Republican-led Legislature earlier this year. Supporters of the change said too many plaintiffs had been shopping to secure a friendly court.

The law also capped pain-and-suffering awards at 350-thousand dollars for malpractice cases, and set up incentives for patients to settle out of court. Other challenges to the law are expected in the months ahead.

At tomorrow's hearing, lawyers for a neurologist and his former practice group will argue that a lower court was correct when it ruled that a malpractice suit against the doctor should be tried in Bartow County, where the alleged malpractice occurred. The plaintiff had filed suit in Fulton County, which is known for high awards to plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.

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