HB 702-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 702-FN
This bill establishes a screening hearing before a superior court judge to review medical malpractice claims and mediation for claims that continue.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to the screening and mediation of medical malpractice claims.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
519-B:1 Definitions. In this chapter a “provider of health care” means a provider of health care as defined in RSA 151-C:2, XXX(a).
519-B:2 Screening Hearing and Mediation.
I. Every action at law for medical injury against a provider of health care shall be screened by a single justice of the superior court. The plaintiff shall present an offer of proof and the screening judge shall determine if the evidence presented, if properly substantiated, is sufficient to raise a legitimate question of liability appropriate for judicial inquiry or whether the plaintiff’s case is merely an unfortunate medical result.
II. All actions which continue after the decision of the screening judge under paragraph I shall be mediated within 45 days in a manner established by court rules to promote and encourage an expeditious settlement.
I. Each such action for medical injury shall be heard by the screening judge within 45 days after the defendant’s answer has been filed. At the screening hearing the burden of persuasion shall be on the plaintiff to produce such evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Admissible evidence shall include, but not be limited to, hospital and medical records, nurses’ notes, x-rays, and other records kept in the usual course of the practice of the health care provider without the necessity for other identification or authentication, statements of fact or opinion on a subject contained in a published treatise, periodical, book, or pamphlet or statements by experts without the necessity of such experts appearing at the hearing. The screening judge may, upon his or her own decision, summon or subpoena any such records or individuals to substantiate or clarify any evidence which has been presented. The testimony of the witnesses and the decision of the screening judge shall not be admissible as evidence at a trial.
II. The expenses of the screening hearing and mediation shall be equitably assessed to the parties by the court.
519-B:4 Final Disposition. Upon entry of judgment, settlement, or other final disposition at trial court level, the clerk shall, no later than 15 days after such entry, send a copy of the judgment, settlement or other final disposition, to the board of medicine. The terms of judgment, settlement, or other final disposition shall not be sealed pursuant to RSA 507-E:3.
519-B:5 Notification to the Board of Medicine. Whenever the screening judge makes a finding, the clerk of the court shall, no later than 15 days after such finding, send a copy of the complaint and finding to the board of medicine.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.
HB 702-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to the screening of medical malpractice claim
Due to time constraints, the Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is unable to provide a fiscal note for this bill at this time. When completed, the fiscal note will be forwarded to the House Clerk's Office.