Supreme Court of Florida: No More Caps on Damages in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The Supreme Court of Florida issued a 4-3 ruling today invalidating Florida’s capped damages in medical malpractice cases. Florida’s highest court ruled that this arbitrary limitation on pain and suffering is unconstitutional. The four justice majority found that caps on human damages (pain and suffering) violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
“Because there is no evidence of a continuing medical malpractice insurance crisis justifying the arbitrary and invidious discrimination between medical malpractice victims, there is no rational relationship between the personal injury noneconomic damage caps in [Florida law] and alleviating this purported crisis,” the Court held.
So what does this mean?
Patients Win with No Florida Medical Malpractice Caps
Negligent medical care takes many forms. It may be a negligent doctor who leaves a surgical sponge inside a patient. It may be hospital malpractice when a nurse drops a patient during a transfer from wheelchair to bed. It may be nursing home negligence if a nursing home administers the wrong medication to a patient. Whatever the malpractice involves, a patient’s only recourse is through the civil justice system.
Malpractice Suits Deter Negligent Care
It is statistically proven that accountability in the courts improves patient care and facility staffing numbers. So why do advocates of tort reform constantly push for capping damages in med mal cases? It involves special interests and the medical lobby. Luckily, our Supreme Court got it right. Even though lawmakers in Tallahassee passed this unfair legislation, the Supreme Court of Florida struck it down as unconstitutional.
Medical Malpractice Insurers Lose with No Florida Medical Malpractice Caps
Insurers for doctors, hospitals and nursing homes lost this legal battle. But they will not go quietly into the night. Undoubtedly, these corporate interests will circle their wagons and try to close the courthouse doors to wrongfully injured patients, in direct violation of the 7th Amendment.
More Questions on a Potential Florida Medical Malpractice Claim?
Learn more about Florida medical malpractice claims by visiting our FAQ section. Want to speak with our lawyers about your med mal case? Call our experienced attorneys today for your free case consultation. 561-717-0817