HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

March 12, 2003   Hearing Room 357

1:00 p.m. Tapes  78 - 80

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Max Williams, Chair

Rep. Gordon Anderson, Vice-Chair

Rep. Robert Ackerman, Vice-Chair

Rep. Jeff Barker

Rep. Bob Jenson

Rep. Jerry Krummel

Rep. Greg Macpherson

Rep. Floyd Prozanski

Rep. Lane Shetterly

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Bill Joseph, Counsel

Ann Martin, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            Informational Hearing: Tort Reform/Medical Liability

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE 78, A

Speaker

Comments

003

Chair Williams

Opens the meeting at 1:10 p.m. Introduces former representative, Kevin Mannix.

Informational  Meeting: Tort Reform/Medical Liability

020

Kevin Mannix

Submits testimony and testifies on tort reform (EXHIBITS A-C). Introduces one of his associates, Chris Bishop.

124

Mannix

Continues his testimony on tort reform.

195

Chair Williams

Says that he appreciates Mr. Mannix coming forward with this idea/concept. Asks how other states have worked with this idea.

207

Mannix

Defers to Mr. Bishop.

210

Chris Bishop

Attorney. Testifies on tort reform. Discusses no-fault systems in Florida and Virginia (Exhibit B).

250

Rep. Prozanski

Asks how other states have set up a value for the injuries to infants and if it is limited to recovery through the guardian or parent.

262

Mannix

Answers that with their proposal they have tried to rely on the workers’ compensation system. Defers to Mr. Bishop regarding Virginia and Florida.

273

Bishop

Explains that Virginia and Florida compensate for all the medical expenses incurred.

297

Mannix

Says that in their first version of the proposal, the injured person would receive temporary disability benefits as well as permanent benefits and the parents of the child would be compensated for their lost wages.

308

Bishop

Adds that both Virginia and Florida do not have a schedule of benefits, per say, but they do have a periodic payment as medical charges are incurred.

314

Vice-Chair Ackerman

Asks if they have any idea what the cap would be on a severe neurological disability.

328

Mannix

Says that he is not sure. Discusses the calculation.

353

Vice-Chair Ackerman

Asks if a permanent total disability award would be offset against a permanent total award.

362

Mannix

Answers that is what this proposal says, but it is truly a proposal. Says that he expects debate on what offsets ought to be allowed.

377

Bishop

Points out that in the appendix of the study, he has included a state-by-state comparison of the laws.

385

Vice-Chair Ackerman

Asks if they propose that a catastrophic injury claim would be below $250,000.

390

Mannix

Responds that he doesn’t know and explains.

407

Rep. Prozanski

Asks about the schedule of attorney fees under this proposal.

418

Mannix

Says that he doesn’t think there is a schedule of attorney fees under their proposal.

TAPE 79, A

004

Bishop

Comments that they have left that open for the committee to decide.

009

Rep. Krummel

Inquires about the charts in the back of the study on liability reform. Asks if those charts are based on the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) legislation or on Proposition 103.

018

Bishop

Says that he believes that those are based upon MICRA which was passed in 1975.

020

Rep. Krummel

Asks if they have looked at Proposition 103 in terms of the differences it made to the California system.

028

Bishop

States that he has not studied Proposition 103, but has listened to the arguments given to the U.S. Congress regarding this issue. Adds that proposition 103 and MICRA both contributed to the decrease in insurance rates in California.

040

Mannix

Discusses their proposal.

062

Rep. Krummel

Asks for information about the ways a person would enter the system.

073

Mannix

Explains the system and how it will protect people’s rights.

087

Bishop

Refers to study and inclusion of statutory provisions of California and three other states.

095

Vice-Chair Anderson

Inquires about ramifications of medical providers.

100

Mannix

Says that the idea of their proposal is to reduce the cost of coverage.

112

Bishop

Remarks that the insurance rates have decreased in Florida and Virginia since they have implemented their no-fault system. 

116

Vice-Chair Anderson

Comments on review of peers of medical providers.

124

Bishop

Says that in Virginia and Florida, the medical providers that have not had claims have had a decrease in their insurance.

132

Mannix

Concludes his comments on their study  and proposal (Exhibits B & C). Says that a private business client paid for the study.

Procedural Consideration, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel

197

Bill Sime

Esq., Parks Bauer Sime & Winkler. Oregon Association of Defense Counsel. Submits testimony and testifies on tort reform (EXHIBIT D).

324

James C. Edmonds

Esq., Clark Lindauer Fetherston Edmonds & Lippold LLP. Oregon Association of Defense Counsel. Testifies on tort reform. Discusses expert discovery and disclosure.

374

Chair Williams

Asks Mr. Sime his opinion on expert disclosure.

392

Sime

Explains that it would help to promote settlement.

413

Rep. Prozanski

Asks what bill his group is interested in.

417

Sime

Answers, HB 2497.

TAPE 78, B

The History of Tort Reform & the Aftermath of the Lakin Decision, Legislative Counsel

022

Dave Heyndrickx

Senior Deputy, Legislative Counsel. Submits testimony and testifies on tort reform (EXHIBIT E).

225

Heyndrickx

Continues his testimony on the history of tort reform.

TAPE 79, B

003

Heyndrickx

Continues discussing the history of tort reform.

071

Rep. Krummel

Asks about doctors providing free care under the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) in our county health clinics and if they would be covered  under the Oregon tort claims act.

081

Heyndrickx

Answers, yes. Explains that it would be an additional responsibility for the county.

091

Rep. Krummel

Asks if it should be established as part of the cost of care.

095

Heyndrickx

Answers, yes.

096

Rep. Krummel

Wonders if a physician that sees OHP patients, as well as other patients, would be covered under the tort claims act with their OHP patients.

105

Heyndrickx

Says, yes, that is a real problem.

129

Rep. Prozanski

Asks Mr.Heyndrickx if he can summarize a few cases that precede the Lakin decision.

134

Heyndrickx

Says that there were cases on Article 1, Section 10 and explains.

167

Rep. Prozanski

Reports that there were a couple of decisions that came out of the Court of Appeals that differed as to the constitutionality of caps.

177

Heyndrickx

Concludes that they don’t seem to be backing away from the Lakin decision. Feels that there will be some further evolution on this issue.

The Governor’s Medical Professional Liability Insurance Task Force Report & the Oregon Insurance Division

192

Cory Streisinger

Director, Oregon Department of Business and Consumer Services. Submits testimony and testifies on tort reform (EXHIBITS F & G).

205

Meg Reinhold

Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Consumer and Business Services. Submits testimony and testifies on tort reform (EXHIBITS H & I).

242

Chair Williams

Comments that he served intermittently on the task force. Commends the report, but says that there wasn’t any consensus.

264

Streisinger

Continues her testimony on tort reform. Concludes that they hope to have a more detailed plan to give to the committee very shortly.

400

John Egge

Chair, SAIF Board of Directors. Testifies on tort reform.

TAPE 80, A

001

Chair Williams

Asks how long Mr. Egge will need before he has an outline to give to the Governor.

005

Egge

Answers that they don’t really have a timetable yet, but expects to have one soon and understands the urgency.

019

Vice-Chair Ackerman

Asks Ms. Streisinger about pooling of insurance risks and if the legislature would have the authority to authorize that.

030

Streisinger

Replies that there are a number of mechanisms that already exist in the insurance code for doing various types of risk pooling, joint underwriting agreements and so on.

031

Vice-Chair Ackerman

Comments that he appreciates their testimony because they emphasize a market approach to the problem.

038

Rep. Shetterly

Wonders if the participants in the Governor’s Medical Professional Liability Insurance Task Force (Exhibit G) have had a chance to evaluate their proposal.

053

Streisinger

Answers that this is something that has come together very quickly and that they have talked with some members of the task force.

055

Rep. Krummel

Asks if they have taken a look at Proposition 103 (California).

062

Reinhold

Responds that she doesn’t have any expertise on the value of Proposition 103, but does know that the MICRA reforms were very effective.

069

Chair Williams

Reports that he would be very interested in seeing additional information. Adjourns the meeting at 3:04 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – Outline of No-Fault Medical Injury Claim System Proposal, submitted by Kevin Mannix, 2 pgs.

B – A Study of a No-Fault Medical Injury Claims System to Replace Litigation, submitted by Kevin Mannix, 69 pgs.

C – A Proposal for a No-Fault Medical Injury Claims System for Oregon, submitted by Kevin Mannix, 5 pgs.

D – Written testimony, submitted by Bill Sime, 3 pgs.

E – Recent Developments on Liability Limitations, submitted by Dave Heynderickx, 3 pgs.

F -  Written testimony, submitted by Cory Streisinger, 4 pgs.

G – Governor’s Medical Professional Liability Insurance Task Force Report, January 2003, submitted by Cory Streisinger, 22 pgs.

H – Written testimony, submitted by Meg Reinhold, 2 pgs.

I – Medical Professional Liability Insurance Membership Roster, submitted by Meg Reinhold, 2 pgs.