A state lawmaker wants reforms in who has the right to sue for medical malpractice.
Current state law allows families to sue if a relative under their protection dies as a result of medical negligence. However, State Senator Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) says they're left powerless if the victim was legally on their own, such as a child over the age of 18 or an elderly parent who is single. Plale says families left behind are not allowed to sue for loss of companionship under current state law. He's sponsoring a bill that allows the families of single adults to sue for medical malpractice.
Eric Rice of Middleton testified in favor of the bill during a hearing Tuesday. His daughter died at the age of 19 after a misdiagnosis, but the family was limited in what kind of legal action they could take. Rice says he feels like he'll never know what really happened and that justice was served.
Opponents argue additional lawsuits would increase medical costs for patients. Plale says it would only apply to a few cases each year and doesn't believe it would have a large impact on malpractice cases that go to court.
The bill is being considered by a Senate committee.