Medical malpractice is a dynamic area of the law. The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., in Reading, PA handle medical malpractice claims, and carefully monitor legislation affecting those claims.

On October 25, 2013, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law the Benevolent Gesture Medical Professional Liability Act, prohibiting “benevolent gestures” made by professionals from being admitted as evidence of liability in a subsequent medical malpractice proceeding. (Source: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of the Governor, News Release, October 25, 2013)

The Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus has stated that:

“Senate Bill 379 (Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland/York) allows doctors and health care providers to apologize or offer expressions of grief without fear their words will be used against them in court. It allows them to display natural expressions of empathy and compassion to patients without fear of reprisal.

A ‘benevolent gesture’ is defined as any action, conduct, statement or gesture that conveys a sense of apology, condolence, explanation, compassion, or commiseration emanating from humane impulses.

To be inadmissible, the benevolent gesture must have been made prior to the commencement of a medical professional liability action, arbitration or mediation asserting a medical malpractice claim. The protections will not apply to a communication, including an excited utterance, which also includes a statement of negligence or fault pertaining to an accident or event.”

(Source: Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus, Facebook Post, October 22, 2013).

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C. have represented many victims of medical malpractice, and their families, successfully.

By Andrew F. Fick, Esquire

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