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PPACA doesn't limit recovery in medical malpractice case, judge rules

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A trial court judge in New Jersey has refused to let the defendants in a medical malpractice case tell a jury about how Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) coverage provisions will affect a child’s future medical expenses.

See also: Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual: Supreme Court justices question Vermont’s self-insured plan data call

The case involves a 9-year-old girl who was born with cerebral palsy who receives health benefits through her parents’ employers’ health plans, according to an article by Michael Booth that appeared recently in the New Jersey Law Journal.

The girls’ parents have filed a medical malpractice suit against a hospital and health care providers. 

Bergen County Superior Court Judge Robert Wilson said, in an unpublished ruling, that the defendants cannot take PPACA into account at this point in the case because there is no guarantee that PPACA will remain law in the future, and future benefits that are subject to change cannot be deducted from a claim for future medical expenses. 

Many medical malpractice attorneys are seeking to tell juries about the possible effects of PPACA on patients’ future medical costs, according to Daryl Zaslow, a lawyer quoted in the article.