Local Doctors Help Start The Good Samaritan Bill

Lawsuits are time consuming and expensive,
and representative Josh Penry is proposing a bill that would protect some volunteers in Colorado from litigation.

The Marillac Clinic in Grand Junction estimates that there are more than 20,000 uninsured people in Mesa County that do not have the money for health care,
and if it weren't for volunteers in the medical community
many of them would never see a doctor.

Doctor Cameron spends a lot of her free time volunteering at health clinics and fairs, but for many health professionals,
there are some deep seeded fears associated with helping. Because if a patient is injured, there is no protection for that doctor against a law suit, and law suits can costs thousands of dollars, take up a lot of time, and hurt a doctor's chances of being re-licenced.

But instead of throwing their hands up in defeat,
a group of doctors, nurses, and dentists
went to the law makers.
They took their concerns to Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who brought it to the attention of Representative Josh Penry, who sponsored the bill.

At first the bill received a lot of resistance from trial lawyers...
but eventually the bill made it out of committee,
and it will be on the house floor this week for discussion.

The bill has passed its first,
and maybe its most difficult hurdle in committee.
Many of the trial lawyers in committee were not interested in anyone being immune from liability,
but it does have a long way to go before it becomes a law.