NH proposed “early offer” bill makes headlines: state legislators discuss amendments

We recently posted about New Hampshire’s proposed “early offer” bill pending in the Senate. The bill has become a topic of heated discussion among state legislators.

An article today in the Concord Monitor showcased differing opinions regarding, in particular, a provision that would require a medical malpractice claimant to prove “by clear and convincing evidence that the medical care provider acted with gross negligence in causing the injury” if he or she refused an early offer of compensation.

Opponents of the bill warn uninformed patients may request an early settlement under the proposed system only to receive a low offer and then face the heightened legal threshold in court.

Those in favor of the bill note patients would retain the choice of whether to request an early offer or proceed with litigation.

The Concord Monitor quoted Rep. Kathleen Souza, a Manchester Republican, as saying, “There are amendments coming from every direction… I’ve never seen a bill that’s got so many opinions.”

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