Medical Malpractice Caps Tossed in Illinois

Medical malpractice victims in Georgia are not only injured and killed by negligent health care, but are also victimized by the state via caps on so called non-economic damages. In Georgia, the cap limits these damages to $350,00.00.
Many people have pointed out that this is inherently unfair, especially since the most grievously injured victims are penalized to a greater extent. In effect, the legislature, with help of the governor, decreed that if you, or a loved one is retired or too young to have an earning capacity, the value of your life or that of a loved one, is $350,000.00. Of course thiose who are high wage earners, such as many doctors, would be entitled to a higher recovery in the form of lost income.
This grossly unfair law is currently before the Georgia Supreme Court awaiting an opinion. Yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a similar law passed by the Illinois legislature 4 years ago.
The court ruled that the caps on pain and suffering and other non-economic damages, $500,000 per case for doctors and $1 million for hospitals are unconstitutional.
The Illinois Supreme Court’s opinion upheld a 2007 ruling by lower court determining that the law violated the Illinois Constitution’s “separation of powers” clause, essentially finding that lawmakers interfered with the right of juries to determine fair damages.
This ruling was the third time the Illinois Supreme Court has quashed limits on medical malpractice awards, having tossed out similar laws in 1976 and 1997.
The case arose from a malpractice lawsuit filed in 2006 by the family of a girl who suffered brain damage during her delivery at an Illinois hospital.

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