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Florida Supreme Court strikes down caps on noneconomic damages in other types of medical malpractice cases.    

Court room to set caps on damages

Back in 2004, a law was passed by the Florida Legislature placing severe caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.  In a Florida Supreme Court case decided back in 2014, the Florida Supreme Court found those caps to be unconstitutional in malpractice cases involving the death of the patient.   (Estate of McCall v. the United States, 134 So. 3d 894 (Fla. 2014).  That earlier decision technically left open the question of whether the caps were still in effect for malpractice cases when the patient was only seriously injured but did not die because of the medical malpractice.   Now, in this new case, the Florida Supreme Court has also declared caps on malpractice cases to be unconstitutional even if the patient survives the malpractice.  The primary basis given for the ruling was that the caps on noneconomic damages violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution.

North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, 219 So. 3d 49 (Fla. 2017).

McMillen Law Firm Comment:  This decision probably surprised very few people.  Unfortunately, there remain a couple of other laws on the books imposing caps in limited malpractice situations that will likely still need to be addressed (and separately thrown out) by the Supreme Court.

 

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