Ariz. Senate OKs ER medical malpractice bill

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Senate has voted to make it harder to successfully sue emergency medical providers for alleged malpractice.

The Senate's 21-8 vote Monday approving a bill to raise the required burden of proof for claims of negligent care sends the measure to the House.

Former Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed similar legislation in 2006 and the House narrowly rejected a 2007 version.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale, has said it should help encourage prospective emergency room doctors to decide to practice in Arizona.

Attorneys for lawsuit plaintiffs contend that the proposed change would deprive Arizonans of the chance to recover damages.

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