Orthopaedic Surgeons Hail Passage of Fair Share Act 

HB 1 Brings Commonsense to Liability System

by Straight Line Saturday, April 16, 2011
Harrisburg, PA, April 11, 2011 - The Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society (POS) today hailed passage of House Bill 1, legislation that eliminates joint and several liability for any defendant found to be less than 60 percent liable for causing an injury. The bill passed the House of Representatives on a 112-88 vote.

"HB 1 is a commonsense measure that maintains a person’s right to collect damages while bringing fairness, balance, and stability to Pennsylvania’s liability system," said Harry Schmaltz, MD, president POS. "This critical reform will help doctors in their roles as healthcare practitioners and as business people. Our Society’s members thank the House of Representatives for swiftly moving this important measure through the legislative process."

Over the past decade, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has taken many steps toward improving the state’s medical liability environment.

Pennsylvania, however, remains one of the few states that have not taken full measures to address the liability concerns of both medicine and business. Enactment of HB 1 is a top priority item for both the medical and business communities."Over the years, our friends in the legislature have heard our concerns and boldly acted to assist physicians and hospitals in regard to Pennsylvania’s intolerable medical liability system. With their action today, the House of Representatives stepped toward resolving the longstanding liability plight of both the medical and business communities."

Dr. Schmaltz recognized the efforts of State Representative Curt Schroder (R. Chester), the driving force behind HB 1. "For many years, Representative Schroder has steadfastly advanced a reform agenda to protect doctors from lawsuit abuse. We sincerely thank him for work in securing a liability environment in which we can work."

"In addition, the POS thanks House Speaker Sam Smith (R. Jefferson), House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R. Allegheny) and House Judiciary Committee chair Ron Marsico (R. Dauphin) for swiftly bringing HB 1 to a Final Passage vote. Without their support, we would languish in a sea of unfair liability."

POS is a professional medical specialty organization representing more than 1000 orthopaedic surgeons across Pennsylvania in advocating for excellence in the practice of orthopaedic medicine. For more information on the importance of bone, joint and muscle health at every age, visit the POS website at www.paorthosociety.org.

Beth Weachter
PA Orthopaedic Society
510 North Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

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