In Tennessee lawmakers are trying to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits in the state through a bill that would force lawyers to have their cases certified by a doctor as having merit before the case could be filed. Tennessee is pushing for this because it appears as of now that caps will not pass. While other states, including Illinois, have a certification process, the process has shown that it has not reduced the amount of medical malpractice cases being filed. Tennessee though thinks it has a way to reduce the amount of suits, and it may work but failure to have merit may not be the reason that these case will not be filed.
The proposed bill in Tennessee would hold lawyers accountable for suits that were certified by doctors but are found not to have any merit. A lawyer could be forced to pay defense costs and penalties if it was found that the lawsuit was frivolous. All this law would create would be fewer lawyers willing to take medical malpractice cases. It is already a huge risk to take a case in many states, including Illinois, because of caps and the skewed public view on frivolous lawsuits.
There are two problems here, first a lawyer has to find someone to certify a medical malpractice case, which takes a lot of time and money, and now even if the lawyer finds someone if that doctor’s opinion is found to be not proper the lawyer could be fined? What lawyer in his/her right mind would ever take a medical malpractice case under these circumstances? Once again, the ones that are really going to suffer are the patients because their voices are slowly being silenced by these ridiculous reforms.