Patients injured by medical negligence have historically
been able to recover for the injuries they sustained. In
2005, however, the Georgia General Assembly passed
Georgia Senate Bill 3, which gave virtual immunity to
emergency room doctors and those practicing in obstetrics
wards. The Bill requires a showing of gross negligence by
clear and convincing evidence to prevail on a medical
malpractice claim against those protected by the statute.
The law prevents injured patients who cannot meet this
standard from recovering any damages, even
compensation for medical bills arising from the negligent
act. The legislature enacted the Bill in an effort to address
physician shortages and rising medical malpractice
insurance premiums. In March 2010, the Georgia
Supreme Court upheld the statute's constitutionality in
Gliemmo v. Cousineau.
This Note explores the enactment of the Bill, the
controversy surrounding its passage, and the cause of
rising medical malpractice insurance premiums. This
Note argues that the supreme court's decision was
mistaken and relied on faulty precedent. Accordingly, this
Note calls on the Georgia Supreme Court to revisit the
constitutionality of the statute, or alternatively, urges the
Georgia General Assembly to repeal the law and address
malpractice insurance premiums by other means.
Graves, Jason R.
"State of Emergency: Why Georgia's Standard of Care in Emergency Rooms is Harmful to Your Health,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 45:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol45/iss1/5