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Doctors urge revival of lawsuit legislation

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Physicians and business leaders join Republican state lawmakers to announce plans to resurrect legislation killed by a state Senate committee that would limit some lawsuit awards.

State House Speaker Todd Hiett said Thursday that lawsuits against doctors and manufacturers drive up the cost of health care and other services and products and drive away high-paying jobs and opportunities from the state.

The measure would place a $300,000 limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases and add a section on class-action lawsuits that opponents said would hamper royalty owners owed money by oil companies.

Doctor Eli Reshef of the Oklahoma Alliance of Physicians for Tort Reform says 20 percent of Oklahoma doctors are considering leaving the state and more than half are thinking about early retirement because of high malpractice insurance rates.

But according to the Federal of State Medical Boards, the number of Oklahoma doctors has increased nine percent since 1990.
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