Archive | Advertise | January 2013

The Good and the Bad – A Legislative Update

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The Good in the first week of the 2013 legislative session was the swearing-in of nine members of the GTLA Family into the Georgia General Assembly. With family, friends and several GTLA members looking on with pride, GTLA members Sen. Jason Carter, Rep. Stacey Evans, Rep. Dusty Hightower, Sen. William Ligon, Rep. Ronnie Mabra, Sen. Curt Thompson and Rep. Tom Weldon, along with Rep. Mandi Ballinger (spouse of GTLA member Eric Ballinger) and Rep. Micah Gravley (GTLA Grassroots Coordinator), were sworn in on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. These nine legislators are proud to be affiliated with your GTLA but we are even more proud of our affiliation with them. Together, we will strive to preserve the Civil Justice System in Georgia yet again this legislative session. That is the Good.

The Bad came in the form of assaults on the Civil Justice System experienced in the earliest hours of the 2013 legislative session. By the end of only the second day of the session (Jan. 15, 2013), your lobbying staff had been approached by legislators or lobbyists for other interest groups regarding the desire to introduce legislation in this session concerning each of the following:

A bill concerning time-limited demands, which terms of a settlement demand or offer will be considered material terms and which ones will be considered not material terms and whether discussions about the non-material terms can invalidate an agreement reached regarding the material issues;

A bill creating an administrative process for addressing medical malpractice claims in lieu of allowing juries to address those claims;

A bill that would limit a plaintiff’s evidence of past medical bills to the amount of the bills the plaintiff’s health insurer (or some other source) paid instead of the total amount of the bills the plaintiff incurred; 

A bill that would require the parties to share the costs associated with E-discovery rather than each party paying for its own costs;

A bill that would make the failure to wear a seatbelt admissible at trial under certain circumstances and allow a jury to reduce a plaintiff’s recovery of damages because of that failure;

A bill that would permit nursing homes to require all patients to agree upon admission to binding arbitration in the event of harm to the patients;

The annual workers’ compensation package from the SBWC which this year will increase the maximum TTD and TPD benefits and cap medical treatment at 400 weeks from the date of injury for all injuries (except for catastrophic injuries) occurring after July, 1, 2013;

A bill that would provide immunity for gasoline can manufacturers under certain circumstances;

The "Provider Shield Act" which would preclude a patient from placing into evidence his or her healthcare provider’s failure to adhere to any federal healthcare regulation;

A bill providing that a health insurer’s refusal to pay for medical treatment cannot be considered evidence that the treating physician failed to meet the standard of care;

A bill reducing future economic damages to present value via expert testimony or by application of a set percentage;

A bill providing immunity under certain circumstances to a school’s governing authority for its entering into a ‘joint use agreement’ that would allow another entity to use a school’s recreational property or facilities during after-school hours; and,

A bill that would make a ‘guilty plea’ to a traffic citation inadmissible in a related civil case.

Your GTLA Legislative Team and our legislative allies will be working diligently to repel these and other attacks on the Civil Justice System during the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly. Please follow the daily progress of the Team’s efforts and be prepared to respond to our requests to have you engage your state legislators on behalf of your clients and your law practice. Together, we can make a difference for the Civil Justice System in Georgia.


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Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, Inc.
Empire Settlement Funding
Regional Medical Group
Fast Funds, Inc.
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
101 Marietta Street, NW
Suite 3350, Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone (404) 522-8487 | Fax (404) 522-3705