In 2004, voters approved Question 3, known as the "Keep Our Doctors in Nevada" (KODIN) initiative. The legislation cut the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit from two years to one, and set a cap on damages for pain and suffering at $350,000. Given the complicated nature of many malpractice claims, the $350,000 cap on damages makes it financially unsound for lawyers to represent patients on these complicated claims.
The outbreak of Hepatitis C at the Endoscopy Center of Nevada in February 2008, has forced legislators to revisit the protections that the Question 3 initiative gave to health care professionals.
Bill AB 495 seeks to remove this safety net for doctors so that injured patients can once again be adequately compensated for their injuries. I have seen many death and serious injury cases since the passage of KODIN in which injured Nevada residents were deprived of meaningful compensation because of the restrictions imposed by this legislation.
While proponents of KODIN argue that it provides for greater and less costly access to health care, the legislation does nothing to deter medical errors or adequately compensate victims of malpractice.
I strongly encourage you to send a letter similar to the one below, urging your representatives to say "YES" to AB 495.
Dear [Assemblyman/woman]: I am strongly in support of Bill AB495, which takes unnecessary and dangerous protections away from the healthcare industry. The so-called KODIN legislation that became effective in 2004 has been a travesty for the citizens of Nevada. There have been too many deaths and serious injuries suffered by insured Nevadans; the pain and suffering for which is grossly under-compensated, if compensated at all. It is time for us to return to a system where insurance companies and healthcare institutions accept responsibility for their actions! AB495 is an important bill. Please give it full consideration and please vote for AB495.
Sincerely, [Your Name]
Bernie Anderson, Chairman email@example.com
Tick Segerblom, Vice Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn Dondero Loop email@example.com
William Horne firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruben Kihuen email@example.com
Mark Mandeno firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry Mortenson email@example.com
James Ohrenschall firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonnie Parnell email@example.com
Barbara Buckley, Speaker firstname.lastname@example.org
John Oceguera, Majority Leader (Assembly) email@example.com
Stephen Horsford, Majority Leader (Senate) firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.