New Jersey Governor signs medical liability reform legislation

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New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey signed medical liability reform legislation in an attempt to reduce rising insurance premium costs. This could mean statutory caps on non-economic damages for medical liability lawsuits. The bill has established a two-year task force to study the merits of such caps.

The new legislation also will give trial court judges greater latitude to reduce excessive jury awards. It will protect providers from civil liability in certain cases and subsidize hospitals and physicians.

New Jersey Hospital Association spokesperson Kerry McKean Kelly called it an "incremental step" towards overall medical malpractice insurance reform in the state.