The Association of Trial Lawyers of America has asked for a meeting with top officials from the American Medical Association to seek "common ground" on divisive issues like changes to insurance law, caps on damages in lawsuits and patient-safety reform, the Washington-based trade group announced last week.
ATLA President Todd Smith, who represents plaintiffs in malpractice cases, asked for a meeting with AMA President John Nelson, M.D. He suggested the two sides meet when leaders of the AMA are scheduled to gather in Washington from March 14-16 to lobby lawmakers for a strict cap of $250,000 on noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits.
"I hope you choose to recognize the growing body of research that the so-called "tort reform" your organization has advocated in the past will not result in lower insurance rates for doctors but will victimize the patients your members have sworn an oath to protect," Smith wrote in a letter to Nelson.
An AMA official said the group has arranged meetings with a top ATLA representative on at least two occasions in recent years.