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State supreme court: medical malpractice caps unconstitutional

The former governor of one state set limits back in 2003 as to how much a citizen of that state could sue for against medical facilities, doctors and other medical staff. The caps that were set in medical malpractice cases for non-economic damages were $500,000 for most cases and as much as $1 million in cases where the victim suffered a catastrophic injury, but those caps have been ruled unconstitutional by the state's supreme court. Although this case was not in Ohio, recent bills have been introduced that could limit the amounts that victims could receive in medical malpractice suits across the U.S.

According to the report, the former governor's decision was outvoted 4-3. The state's supreme court decided that the caps on medical malpractice suits were in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of their state's constitution. Three years ago, a similar cap was struck down, which limited the amount that could be awarded in a wrongful death suit.

The determination was that the laws capping medical malpractice suits violate the equal protection clause, since reducing the amount of compensation would disregard the severity of the injury. What the caps would mean is that victims of medical malpractice would be able to sue for only the amount of the cap. Even in situations where the cost of the victim's injuries was more than the amount of the state's cap, he or she would not be awarded more than the cap.

For anyone who has suffered injury and loss in Ohio and feels that they may have a medical malpractice case, a personal injury attorney can help. This lawyer can guide the victim in how to understand his or her state's laws and advise whether or not the state has caps. The personal injury lawyer can also explain exactly what constitutes a medical malpractice case and how to proceed in seeking compensation.

Source:, "Medical malpractice caps unconstitutional, rules Florida Supreme Court", Christie Zizo, June 8, 2017

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