The Supreme Court of Florida has just ruled that medical malpractice caps on pain and suffering damages are unconstitutional. The Florida cap, adopted in 2003 as part of a medical malpractice overhaul violates the state constitution's equal protection clause, according to the Court.
Medical malpractice caps on non-economic damages – such as in Florida's case – limit payments on pain and suffering. While in Florida these caps were limited to $500,000 or $1 million, depending on the circumstances and the number of people involved, California's similar cap is limited to $250,000. California's de minimus amount was established back in 1975, and wasn't tied to inflation. California medical malpractice attorneys now seek to increase this limit, and are pushing for a reform initiative to be on the ballot this November.
As explained by the Florida Court, the caps "had the effect of saving a modest amount for many by imposing devastating costs on a few."
Justice Fred Lewis concluded the law unconstitutionally discriminates against "those who are most grievously injured, those who sustain the greatest damage and loss, and multiple claimants.''
As a result of this monumental decision, the unfair cap on non-economic damages will be effectively removed. In California residents have until March 24 to sign a petition to placing the initiative to raise California's medical malpractice cap limit on the ballot.
Hopefully, the tide is turning as more and more individuals and states are recognizing that caps on non-economic damages deprive those who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to medical malpractice the justice they deserve.
For more information about medical malpractice caps, or if you believe you may have suffered harm as the result of medical malpractice, please contact the experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.