Connecticut Gov. John Rowland said that he is willing to compromise on his proposal to cap jury awards to help ease the costs of medical malpractice insurance.
Rowland said he would back a $750,000 limit on noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits and give judges the ability to waive the cap in extreme cases. Rowland had previously proposed a firm $250,000 cap.
"There is a medical crisis going on, and we have not reformed the medical malpractice system," Rowland told a group of state business leaders at the state Capitol in Hartford.
Lawmakers are considering two malpractice bills. They include proposals for a panel that would screen potential cases for merit and giving the state's insurance department more authority to regulate rates. Another proposal would ask hospitals to put in more quality-control measures, such as enhanced computerized patient filing systems, to prevent the incidence of malpractice.
The governor's plan would limit the amounts paid by the HMO, insurance company and doctor to $250,000 apiece, said Dean Pagani, Rowland's chief of staff.