In a stunning defeat for Republican legislators, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (D- N.C.) vetoed Senate Bill 33, a medical malpractice reform bill that would have capped noneconomic damages at $500,000 regardless of injury. Many opponents challenged the bill, including a physician who appeared in television ads and press releases.
The bill’s specific language capped damages for pain and suffering at $500,000 even for death, paralysis, brain damage and severe disfigurement, unless the patient were able to prove reckless disregard, gross negligence or intentional malice.
Vetoing the bill strengthened Perdue’s stance toward passing “meaningful medical malpractice reform.”
“I commend the legislature for addressing this important issue, but, in its current form, the bill is unbalanced. I urge legislators to modify the bill to protect those who are catastrophically injured when the general assembly returns in July,” Perdue said.
“Once the bill is revised to adequately protect those that are catastrophically injured, I will proudly sign it into law. I pledge to continue working with the general assembly to achieve a comprehensive bipartisan consensus,” Perdue added. The bill is now scheduled to return to the Senate.