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HR 1215 - Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 - National Key Vote


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Title: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that limits the damages awarded to plaintiffs in certain civil health care lawsuits.


  • Prohibits a civil health care lawsuit that results in a noneconomic damage ruling from compensating the plaintiff more than $250,000 (Sec. 7).

  • Defines noneconomic damages as any physical or emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, or impairment, any mental anguish, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment of life, and any loss of society, companionship, or reputation as a result of health care services or medical products (Sec. 7).

  • Specifies that civil lawsuits resulting in actual economic damages, such as lost medical costs or lost wages, may reach any amount deemed fair and appropriate by the court (Sec. 3).

  • Limits the statute of limitations for the commencement of a health care lawsuit to 3 years after the date of injury or 1 year after the claimant discovers the injury, whichever occurs first (Sec. 2).

  • Authorizes courts to supervise any payment of damages to plaintiffs to protect against any conflict of interest that may reduce the amount of damages paid to the plaintiff (Sec. 4).

  • Authorizes courts to set periodic payments in any legal health care case concerning damages that equal or exceed $50,000 (Sec. 5).

  • Specifies that any health care provider that prescribes a product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is exempt from a class action lawsuit against the product (Sec. 6).