Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Non-Economic Damage Caps
What You Need To Know
Florida physicians now face a tort environment that has no limits on the jury awarded damages for which physicians are responsible. The Florida Supreme Court, in similar fashion to an earlier ruling regarding wrongful death cases, recently ruled that the statutory caps on non-economic damage awards in personal injury medical malpractice actions are unconstitutional, saying it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution.
The ruling strikes down a previous law that in most cases capped the amount of money a patient could receive from their physician at $500,000. The case before the Court involved a patient that had received a jury award of over $4,000,000 for pain and suffering damages but could not collect the entire amount because of the caps. Now, physicians are liable for the full amount awarded by a jury.
This ruling will change the future of medical malpractice cases in Florida. Law firms that had previously ignored cases because the damage caps limited their profits will likely now find medical malpractice cases more attractive. As I have always said, a medical malpractice lawsuit is not about the medicine…it’s about the money!
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