Polls Reveal Americans Against Non-Economic Damage Limits for Claims

By Peter DePaolis

Personal Injury Attorneys Helping Victims Recover in Cases with Non-economic Damages in Nursing Home Abuse and Medical Malpractice Cases in Washington, D.C.

Medical malpractice and nursing home lawsuits are becoming common in the United States. It is not because consumers are filing frivolous lawsuits. Instead, it is due to the number of aging individuals flooding nursing homes, and the strained capacity of the medical industry.

Recently, there has been talk of limiting non-economic damages in nursing home abuse and medical malpractice lawsuits. However, polls examining the issues found that most Americans are against such limitations.

What is HR 1212? – Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 24, 2017. It establishes provisions for health care lawsuits where the federal government provided care via tax benefit or subsidy. The non-economic damages would be limited to just $250,000, if the bill were to pass.

About the Poll

The poll from the Public Policy Polling (PPP) released information from phone polling in March based on HR 1215 – the House’s bill that will be voted on in the next few weeks. HR 1215’s primary goal is to limit non-economic damages in medical malpractice and nursing home abuse cases to $250,000 maximum.

The PPP asked the same set of questions to 500 – 700 registered voters in seven different red states and purple states (i.e., states that voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the last few elections). The polling distribution was intentional, because Republicans tend to lead toward tort reform and limits on lawsuits to protect corporations.

PPP polled voters in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Alabama, and Arizona. The pollsters found that support for HR 1215 was nearly non-existent. In fact, 60 percent of those polled were not for the bill.

There was also an impressive number of voters in each state who felt that nursing homes should be held accountable when a loved one is injured or dies due to the facility’s negligence. Seventy-seven percent of Floridians agreed, while 86 percent of residents in Georgia agreed. Furthermore, each state’s opposition for HR 1215 grew stronger when more information was given to the voter by the polling professional on the phone.

Poll Results

Here are the surprising polling results for HR 1215:

  • Florida – Sixty-three percent of residents were against HR 1215. Seventy-seven percent believed that a nursing home should be held accountable for its actions.
  • Georgia – Sixty-eight percent were against HR 1215, and 86 percent felt that nursing homes should be held responsible for their actions.
  • Pennsylvania – Sixty-eight percent were also against HR 1215, and 81 percent felt that nursing homes should be responsible.
  • Texas –Seventy percent were against HR 1215, and 85 percent felt that nursing homes should be held accountable.
  • Utah – Sixty-four percent of residents in Utah were against HR 1215, and 82 percent felt that nursing homes should be held accountable.
  • Alabama – Sixty-three percent opposed HR 1215, while 81 percent felt that nursing homes should be held liable.
  • Arizona – Sixty-seven percent opposed HR 1215, and 81 percent also felt that nursing homes should be held accountable.

Lawmakers Could Lose Re-Election if HR 1215 Succeeds

There are numerous voices opposing HR 1215; therefore, it is imperative that lawmakers consider their actions. PPP also found that, regardless of affiliation, 58 percent of those polled would not vote for the same lawmaker for re-election if he or she supports HR 1215.

Bottom line: Businesses can get away with acts of negligence, and are often not held accountable for their actions. Consumers are fed up with such allowances, which means that if HR 1215 were to pass, lawmakers could be in for a rude awakening.

If you or your loved one were injured by negligent nursing home staff or medical professionals, contact us today. Let the personal injury attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP fight for any compensation you are eligible for.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.