Recently passed House Bill 270 makes big change in New Mexico residents’ ability to sue Texas doctors when errors are made.
Ensuring that people have access to proper medical care has been a topic of much debate, attention and energy in New Mexico and around the nation for several years now. In addition to the importance of having affordable health insurance coverage and the ability to go to a doctor when needed, patients have other needs as well.
Ideally, patients should be able to trust that the health care they receive is of high quality. However, this does not always happen. Therefore, the ability to seek compensation when injuries are sustained at the hands of medical professionals is another important right for patients.
A new law recently enacted in New Mexico actually limits some residents’ ability to do just that.
What is the law?
What is known as House Bill 270 essentially prevents New Mexico residents from pursuing malpractice case within the state against providers from Texas. As explained by KFOXTV, the law stemmed from a case in which a New Mexico resident actually sued a Texas surgeon in New Mexico. The New Mexico Appellate Court allowed the suit. The New Mexico Legislature changed the Court decision.
New Mexico patients of Texas physicians, health care systems and others are realistically not going to be able to bring a malpractice case in New Mexico. Texas has extremely oppressive malpractice laws.
Why was this law created?
Texas and New Mexico have very different laws concerning medical malpractice. In Texas, patients are more restricted as to what suits may be initiated. There are also extraordinarily low caps on damage awards. Providers in Texas did not want to be responsible in New Mexico under our law.
Protecting patient rights is important
Every patient should have the ability to seek recourse when medical mistakes are made. Anyone in New Mexico who has concerns about a potential medical error should consult with an attorney and we are here to help patients to understand the ever-changing laws.