Frankfort Judge Rules State Medical Review Panel Law Unconstitutional

Nov 1, 2017


The sponsor of legislation establishing medical review panels in Kentucky anticipates the legality of the measure to be reviewed by the State Supreme Court.

Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd ruled Monday the new law unconstitutional.

CORRECTION: The initial web story incorrectly indicated the Kentucky Justice Association assisted in challenging the Medical Review Panel law.

The law, which took effect the end of June, required a panel of doctors to review medical malpractice lawsuits before they go to trial.  Multiple media outlets report Judge Shepherd ruled the law unconstitutional because it makes it more difficult for people to file lawsuits.  His order banned the state from enforcing the law. 

Bill Sponsor Senator Ralph Alvarado says many states offer a review process. “I think 43 states total have some type of either cap on economic damages or they have medical review panels in place for these kinds of lawsuits,” said Alvarado.

Alvarado, a Winchester doctor, says money spent on malpractice insurance could be spent on hiring more medical staff in some cases.