Tucson, Arizona


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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
Contributor •

Bill to Raise Burden of Proof on ER Malpractice Lawsuits Fails in House

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The Arizona House rejected Bill SB 1032, a bill that would have made medical malpractice lawsuits against emergency department doctors and staff more difficult to win.

The State Senate approved the legislation on a 6-12 vote, in January, and would have required plaintiffs in such type malpractice lawsuits to have “clear and convincing evidence” that the care they received was not up to professional standards, rather than a “preponderance of evidence” which is an easier legal threshold.

Proponents believe SB 1032 would have helped to eliminate frivolous lawsuits that lead to increased malpractice insurance premium rates, also scaring away Arizona doctors.

While the opponents believe the legislation would violate the constitutional rights of patients to file a malpractice lawsuit.