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Florida Supreme Court Tosses Caps on Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Awards

Texas victims of medical malpractice desperately need this to happen in our state. I’m not holding my breath though. Our Supreme Court cares much more for doctors and hospitals than for innocent patients.

The AP reports that yesterday in a 5-2 decision, the Florida Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional “caps placed on how much money people can receive in cases” in which a physician’s mistake led to the death of a patient. The limits on lawsuits “were part of a law then-Republican Gov. Jeb Bush pushed in 2003 in an effort to lower the cost of malpractice insurance rates and to keep doctors from moving out of state.” In its ruling, the Florida Supreme Court wrote, “The cap on non-economic damages serves no purpose other than to arbitrarily punish the most grievously injured or their surviving family members.”

The Miami Herald reports that in its ruling, the court blasted “the Legislature for creating an ‘alleged medical malpractice crisis’ and concluding that the cap on wrongful death non-economic damages violates the state constitution’s equal protection clause.” The ruling, which was “written by Justice R. Fred Lewis, suggested that legislators created a crisis to push through the caps on damages in medical liability lawsuits which ‘has the effect of saving a modest amount for many by imposing devastating costs on a few.’”

The Orlando (FL) Sentinel reports that the ruling “gave a huge victory to plaintiffs’ lawyers who fiercely opposed limits on so-called ‘noneconomic’ damages.” The ruling was also considered a blow to physicians, “who have made a priority of reining in medical-malpractice lawsuits.”

The Palm Beach (FL) Post reports that the cap had “limited the amount for pain and suffering to $500,000 for injuries and $1 million if someone died or was left in a permanent vegetative state.” Also covering the story are the Tampa (FL) Tribune and Reuters.

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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