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Florida Cap on Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Awards Ok’d

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Florida’s 11th Circuit court upheld a state law that puts a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits. The cap was called into question in a case in which the parents and son of Michelle McCall, who died after losing excessive amounts of blood during delivery, sued and won a lawsuit against the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and was awarded $980,462 in economic damages and two million in noneconomic damages.

Because of the noneconomic cap in Florida, the McCall award was restricted to $1 million. The family argued that they were entitled to the full award because the lawsuit named nonpractioners.

The three-judge District Court panel rejected their argument, and found the cap was within the state’s constitutional rights. Judge Beverly Martin wrote, “The District Court was correct in finding that plaintiffs did not establish that Ms. McCall’s death resulted from the negligence of a ‘nonpractitioner.'”

The Court also found that the argument that the cap has not been proven to reduce medical costs or make malpractice insurance more affordable “lacks merit”, and that is does not violate equal protection under the 14th amendment, nor does it violate the ‘takings’ clause of the 5th amendment.

The Court said of the McCall lawsuit, that any remaining constitutional claims can be taken to the Florida Supreme Court.
? disclaimer: This article: Florida Cap on Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Awards Ok’d was posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 6:35 pm at and is filed under Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.

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