Constitutionality of Medical Malpractice Caps in Question

Constitutionality of Medical Malpractice Caps in Question

Another state has challenged medical malpractice caps – this time Florida's controversial 2003 law that limits the amounts of money injured patients can receive in medical malpractice cases. Earlier this month, the Florida appeals court ruled that limits on pain-and-suffering damages, also called non-economic damages, are unconstitutional in personal injury cases. That case involved a woman who was harmed when tubes were inserted into her mouth as part of the anesthesia process.

Last year, Florida's Supreme Court also determined that limits on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases were unconstitutional and violated equal protection rights under the states' Constitution. The recent decision explained, ""caps are unconstitutional not only in wrongful death actions, but also in personal injury suits as they violate equal protection. … Whereas the caps on non-economic damages in (the section of state law) fully compensate those individuals with non-economic damages in an amount that falls below the caps, injured parties with non-economic damages in excess of the caps are not fully compensated."

Currently, California limits the amount of recovery to $250,000 in medical malpractice cases. Recent legislative efforts to eliminate the cap have failed. As medical malpractice lawyers committed to achieving justice for our clients, we are hopeful that as more states find such laws unconstitutional, California will follow suit. For more information, please contact the experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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