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Sunday, August 20th 2006

Oregon Trail

Oregon paves the way into disaster.

Indeed here in Texas not only have the teaching hospitals been historically protected by lower malpractice caps but state physician employees (of which every faculty member at any of the state’s many public medical schools is) are protected as well.

Well that is no longer the case for Oregon’s only medical school (and a public one at that), OHSU.

The idea that the state legislature can’t protect a teaching hospital and state employees, as apparently an Oregon court thinks, is beyond belief. Here’s The Oregonian,

A state law limits jury awards against public agencies such as OHSU — in this case $100,000 in general damages and $100,000 in special damages.

But the Court of Appeals ruled that while such limits protect public agencies, they do not protect the public employees of those agencies. If they did, the court ruled, the limits would violate an injured person’s constitutional right to seek a full remedy from negligent public employees.

38 states have laws protecting state entities (including public schools) and state employees. I guess my professors, almost all of them employees of the state of Texas better watch out, less this come here eventually.

Point of Law sums it up