Shifting Through Questions 4 & 5 - 8 News NOW

Casey Smith, Reporter

Shifting Through Questions 4 & 5

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  • Nevada Decides 2004

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(Oct. 22) -- Nevadans will be asked to decide two questions on the November ballot that deal with very similar issues. Questions 4 and 5 are about lawyers, insurance companies and your rights under Nevada's new medical malpractice law.

Questions 4 and 5 may be two separate ballot questions, but there's basically one issue involved -- medical malpractice lawsuits. Gail Tuzzolo supports the questions. Jim Denton does not.

Tuzzolo says, "Yes on 4 and 5. We need for lawyers not to file frivolous lawsuits so we can reduce doctors' medical malpractice."

Denton says, "No on 4 and 5. The real reason it was put there was to destroy what was done to malpractice insurance in a special session in 2002."

Both sides of this issue would have you believe the other is working against you and your rights. But it's really hard to know what's up if you just read each of the one sentence ballot questions.

Question 4 asks: Shall the Nevada constitution be amended to add provisions governing insurance rates and practices in Nevada? Are you confused yet? Try answering this question: Shall the Nevada constitution be amended to penalize lawyers willfully involved in vexatious and frivolous litigation, and to prohibit certain changes on limits on recovery of monetary damages?

Denton has some choice words for this one, "Deceptive is a good word for it and so in disingenuous. That's what every newspaper in the state has called it. That's what the Governor has called it."

Tuzzolo predicts doom and gloom if their questions don't pass. "You're going to see insurance premiums rising. You're going to see doctors' malpractice rates rising, no rate relief."

But you won't find any fine print or explanation at the voting booth -- only in your sample ballot. Experts say it's a good idea to read and understand the definition of 4 & 5 and all the ballot questions before you go to the polls.

You can read the explanations for all the November ballot questions in's Nevada Decides 2004.

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