Potter County camp burglary investigated…..One driver hurt in Tioga County collision….Elkland teen arrested for physical harassment…House committee looks to change legislation after Supreme Court ruling…
A burglary at a camp in Pike Township late last month is being investigated by state police at Coudersport. Thieves forced their way into the camp on Yahn Road owned by a 68 year old N. Brunswick, NJ man and made off with $30 worth of quarters in a bag.
Minor injuries were reported for one driver involved in a collision last Thursday morning in Richmond Township. According to Mansfield state police, the collision occurred when Joy Meyers of Blossburg had stopped on South Main Street in Richmond Township attempting to make a left turn and her 2017 Toyota Corolla was hit by a Subaru WRX driven by Brett Cossel of Tioga, PA. Meyers was taken by ambulance to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital. Cossel was not hurt but was cited for following too closely and Meyers was cited for driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.
State police at Mansfield arrested a 15 year old Elkland girl for physical harassment in connection to an assault Sunday morning on East Main Street in Elkland. Troopers allege the girl punched and shoved a 38 year old woman during an argument.
Physical harassment charges are also being filed against a 43 year old Wellsboro man for an incident a little later Sunday morning on Route 6 in Delmar Township. The suspect whose name was withheld is accused of kicking a six year old Williamsport, PA boy in the lower abdomen.
The House Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), met Monday to discuss the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s change to medical malpractice venue rules and how this will hurt patients and gravely impact their access to health care.
Causer said,“Twenty years ago, medical malpractice insurance premiums in the state were skyrocketing, doctors were discontinuing or reducing the number of high-risk procedures and surgeries performed, and our state was unable to recruit and retain physicians. “Thankfully, we were able to correct this downward spiral through legislation, but now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wants to turn back time and put us right back on a dead-end road that does nothing but threaten health care accessibility and affordability.”
In August of this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that beginning Jan. 1, 2023, trial lawyers can resume filing medical malpractice cases in any county in the state, thereby eliminating a 20-year moratorium on the practice of venue shopping, the practice of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions – with Philadelphia topping that list – where juries award larger payouts.
Venue shopping resulted in astronomical verdicts, with doctors and health care systems seeing substantial increases in their medical malpractice premiums, severely threatening access to care, especially in the rural parts of the state. In some cases, doctors were forced to reduce high-risk procedures or close their practices altogether, as the insurance premiums became unaffordable.
To address the issue, Act 127 of 2002 was passed and eliminated the practice of venue shopping. However, with the state Supreme Court’s recent announcement to allow venue shopping once again, the consequences for physicians, health care systems and patients could be dire.
“If the practice of venue shopping is reinstated, our state will see high-risk specialties like orthopedists, neurosurgeons and trauma surgeons discontinue high-risk procedures, OB/Gyns may stop delivering babies and patients may have more difficulty accessing care,” Causer said. “I appreciate the testimony that we heard today, but there is much to be done if we are to preserve the access to and affordability of care in our state.”
To watch video of the hearing or review testimony, visit www.PAGOPPolicy.com.