Arguments for and against a birth injury fund in Maryland are heating up. The fund, modeled after those already in place in Florida and Virginia, is aimed at protecting families of babies who have been born with birth injuries. Monies from the fund would eliminate the need for families to participate in litigation against medical professionals and hospitals.
State legislatures across the country are keeping an eye on the debate. If the bill passes, Maryland will be the third state in the nation with such a fund. Although its purpose is to protect mothers and babies, the bill has malpractice attorneys and hospitals pitted against one another.
Those who support the bill say that its passage would help to ensure continued access to obstetrical care. It would also offer families an alternative to expensive and lengthy lawsuit battles. Those who are against the bill say that it effectively takes away a family’s constitutional right to have a trial by jury. It also allows hospitals and doctors avoid legal responsibility.
To seed the fund, hospitals would be expected to contribute a significant amount. Starting in 2018, the total amount gathered from hospitals would be $3.1 million. That number would climb each year until contributions reach $7.8 million per fiscal year in 2021. Opponents claim that it is not hospitals who will be expected to seed the fund, but taxpayers.
If one thing is certain, it is that there are strong opinions on both sides of the issue and both sides have valid arguments.
If you or your child has been injured at the hands of a doctor, call our offices. We will offer you a free case evaluation and give you the best advice we have. Call now.