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Text: HF00393                           Text: HF00395
Text: HF00300 - HF00399                 Text: HF Index
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House File 394

Partial Bill History

Bill Text

  1  1    Section 1.  FINDINGS.  The general assembly finds that the
  1  2 exception to the general statute of limitations provided
  1  3 minors in section 614.8, Code 1995, impedes efforts of the
  1  4 state to make maternal and child health care widely available
  1  5 in order to provide for the health and welfare of children and
  1  6 pregnant women of this state.  Because providers of health
  1  7 care rendering services to children and pregnant women remain
  1  8 liable to claims made by the children involved for as long as
  1  9 nineteen years after the service is rendered, or even longer
  1 10 if the child claims the injury was prenatal, a disincentive
  1 11 results for the provision of these services.  The long period
  1 12 of limitation influences medical students to not pursue
  1 13 obstetrical and pediatric practices and physicians practicing
  1 14 in those areas to cease practice many years in advance of
  1 15 normal retirement in order to avoid defending claims during
  1 16 their advanced years.  Evidence of both tendencies exists and
  1 17 is especially obvious in the less populated areas of the state
  1 18 where these medical services are in dangerously short supply.
  1 19 Because of the extended period of limitation provided minors,
  1 20 a significant number of primary care physicians have stopped
  1 21 providing obstetrical services.  These trends also have an
  1 22 adverse impact upon the state's efforts to provide for the
  1 23 economic development of less populated areas of the state.
  1 24 The shortage of physicians providing obstetrical care in those
  1 25 areas is a significant impediment to attracting new economic
  1 26 activity.  Available data show that more than 97 percent of
  1 27 all such claims are brought within eight years of occurrence.
  1 28 Claims brought after such a passage of time would logically be
  1 29 very difficult to prove or defend successfully.  Fading of
  1 30 memories, the absence of records, and changes in the standard
  1 31 of care make litigating claims after such a period
  1 32 prohibitively expensive and difficult.  Public policy should
  1 33 encourage claimants to bring claims within a more reasonable
  1 34 period of time when there is greater likelihood of success.
  1 35 Providers of health care, to the extent that a reasonable
  2  1 period of limitation can provide protection, should be
  2  2 relieved of concern that they or their estates could be placed
  2  3 in the position of having to defend actions based upon events
  2  4 that occurred many years in the past.  The general assembly
  2  5 recognizes the potentially conflicting public interests
  2  6 between access to the courts and access to health care and
  2  7 finds that the state has a compelling interest in access to
  2  8 health care which must be paramount in furtherance of the
  2  9 government's obligation to provide for the general health and
  2 10 welfare of its citizens.
  2 11    Sec. 2.  Section 614.8, Code 1995, is amended to read as
  2 12 follows:
  2 14    The Other than an action by a minor brought for medical
  2 15 malpractice, the times limited for actions herein, except
  2 16 those brought for penalties and forfeitures, shall be are
  2 17 extended in favor of minors and mentally ill persons a minor
  2 18 or a mentally ill person, so that they shall have the minor or
  2 19 the mentally ill person has one year from and after the
  2 20 termination of such disability within which to commence said
  2 21 an action.  The time limited for an action brought for medical
  2 22 malpractice is extended in favor of a minor less than six
  2 23 years of age so that the minor has until the minor's eighth
  2 24 birthday to commence an action.  As used in this section,
  2 25 "medical malpractice" means an action founded on injuries to
  2 26 the person or wrongful death against any physician and
  2 27 surgeon, osteopath, osteopathic physician and surgeon,
  2 28 dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, pharmacist, chiropractor, or
  2 29 nurse, licensed under chapter 147, or a hospital licensed
  2 30 under chapter 135B, arising out of patient care.  
  2 31                           EXPLANATION
  2 32    This bill makes legislative findings regarding the need for
  2 33 a shortened statute of limitations for medical malpractice
  2 34 actions involving minors who are injured under the age of six.
  2 35 The bill provides that an action for medical malpractice
  3  1 allegedly committed on a minor under age six must be commenced
  3  2 prior to the minor's eighth birthday.  
  3  3 LSB 1567HV 76
  3  4 mk/cf/24

Text: HF00393                           Text: HF00395
Text: HF00300 - HF00399                 Text: HF Index
Bills and Amendments: General Index     Bill History: General Index

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