Thursday, February 4, 2010

Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Malpractice Caps.

Today, the Illinois Supreme Court today did the right thing: it struck down as unconstitutional limits as to what can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. The court argued that the cap violates separation of powers by allowing lawmakers to interfere with a judge's ability to reduce verdicts. The case, LeBron, a Minor v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, involved a malpractice lawsuit filed in 2006 against the hospital by the family of a girl who suffered severe brain damage and other injuries during her delivery there.

State lawmakers in 2005 passed legislation, which was signed into law by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, that established caps on noneconomic damages of $500,000 in cases against doctors and $1 million against hospitals. Illinois followed other states, such as California, that capped damages years ago.

The best quote of the opinion? "That ‘everybody is doing it," is hardly a litmus test for the constitutionality of the statute."

It would be nice if the entire nation followed suit.

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