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By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Republican lawmakers now in the majority at the North Carolina General Assembly say the changes they want in medical malpractice and lawsuit reforms would help bring down costs of operating a business.

Senate leader Phil Berger said Tuesday that GOP colleagues will file a bill this week to limit non-economic damages in malpractice cases and divide such trials into two parts – between questions of liability and monetary damages.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Thom Tillis says he’ll assemble a committee to look at the reform issues this session.

Democrats were cool to the idea of caps on damages while they were in power. The Senate recommended other changes in 2003 to keep down rising medical malpractice insurance rates, but the legislation didn’t become law.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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