Phantom Damages Reform – S.B. 251
Addresses both the definition of recoverable damages and the evidence
Addresses both the definition of recoverable damages and the evidence admissible to establish the value of medical treatment. Establishes that the reasonable value of past treatment cannot exceed the amounts actually paid to the provider. For future treatment or services that have been rendered but are still owed, the reasonable value cannot exceed the amounts necessary to satisfy the charges. Admissible evidence to show the value of past medical treatment under the bill includes only the sums paid to satisfy the providers’ charges; amounts discounted or written off cannot be considered. Evidence addressing the value of treatment for which payment is still owed or future medical care cannot include figures exceeding what providers would receive if the claims were submitted to a health insurer or government-sponsored program that covers the plaintiff. Finally, the bill abrogates the common law collateral source rule as it applies to medical expense damages.