Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012
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Legislative News

Gov. Deval Patrick signs bills into law


Landmark agreement between physicians and attorneys provides for medical liability reforms in Massachusetts

The health care cost control bill recently passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick on Aug. 6 contains specific language that facilitates an approach of Disclosure, Apology, and Offer (DA&O) to address medical malpractice claims.

An historic and unprecedented partnership between physicians and attorneys in Massachusetts has led to these significant reforms to medical liability system, allowing for improvements to resolving malpractice cases that could greatly benefit patients by reducing some unnecessary and protracted lawsuits while improving patient safety.

Changes include provisions for a six-month, pre-litigation resolution period that affords the time to go through a DA&O process with sharing of all pertinent medical records by the patient, full disclosure by providers, and for statements of apology by providers to be inadmissible in court. Click here to learn more.


MBA celebrates Gov. Deval Patrick's signing of the "worker's right to know" bill

Workplace Safety Bill SigningThe Massachusetts Bar Association applauds Patrick's Aug. 6 signing into law House Bill 4034, which requires employers to provide temporary workers with written notice of key details of their work assignments and important legal protections available to them.

The MBA has been part of working coalition, including MassCOSH and Greater Boston Legal Services, that has advocated forcefully for the passage of the Temp Worker Right to Know bill for the past several years.

The law will end the suffering of temporary workers, who often have limited knowledge of their legal protections and rights available to them. If injured on job sites, temporary workers are sometimes left abandoned at the hospital and may not even know the correct name of their employer. A temporary worker's job location may change before he or she can return after an injury, leaving the burden of medical care and other expenses with the injured worker's family or the commonwealth. Click here to learn more.


Patrick signs bill relative to student access to educational services

On Aug. 6, Patrick also signed into law House Bill 4332 relative to student access to educational services and exclusions from school. The bill requires school districts to allow students who are excluded for more than 10 consecutive school days to continue making academic progress by using alternative educational services, including tutoring, alternative placement, Saturday school and online or distance learning. The bill also requires school districts to track and report data about all suspensions and expulsions for use in identifying trends in the use of school exclusions. The MBA support of this bill emanated from the Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section Council. Click here to view the bill.



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