Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The Kentucky legislature passed a bill this last year to reduce frivolous lawsuits against doctors. Of course, frivolous lawsuits drive up malpractice insurance, which in turn drive up medical bills. And this is ultimately passed off to patients. The bill created medical review panels comprised of nonpartisan doctors who review the merits of a case and try to determine if there was medical negligence. According to the bill sponsor Senator Ralph Alvarado, 43 states have either a cap on economic damages or medical review panels in place. It seems like a commonsense law that would weed out frivolous lawsuits and drive down costs. But not according to Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd. He said the new law was unconstitutional. The case will certainly be appealed. And it will likely have a good chance of being upheld.