Texas is on the verge of enacting a cap on noneconomic damages for malpractice awards, following endorsement of a cap by the Texas Senate this afternoon.
The Texas House already passed its own version of the cap and officials at the Texas Medical Association report Republican Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign the bill once the Senate and House reconcile differences in the bill in conference committee in the next few weeks.
However, the cap also requires a constitutional amendment, which is the subject of another bill that was passed by the House and is expected to be passed by the Senate next week, TMA says.
Many other states are considering similar bills for caps but are encountering stiff resistance from trail attorneys and some consumer groups.
TMA officials say they prefer the House bill, which would enact a strict $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages for physicians in each case, and have reservations about the Senate bill.
While the Senate bill calls for a $250,000 cap per physician, it would allow the cap as high as $750,000 for a lawsuit naming several providers, and it would put a cap of up to $500,000 for hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions.