I’m following up with another blog post concerning the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on economic damage caps in medical malpractice cases. In issuing their ruling, the Court overturned a 2003 law that sought to overhaul medical malpractice cases in the state. The Miami Herald described the ruling thus, “The 5-2 ruling, written by Justice R. Fred Lewis, suggested that legislators created a crisis to push through the caps on damages in medical liability lawsuits which “has the effect of saving a modest amount for many by imposing devastating costs on a few.” The caps limited payments for pain and suffering to $500,000 or $1 million, depending on the circumstances and the number of people involved. Lewis concluded the law unconstitutionally discriminates against “those who are most grievously injured, those who sustain the greatest damage and loss, and multiple claimants.’’ A patient advocacy group noted, “The Florida Court said the state legislature manufactured a medical malpractice crisis in 2003 which was ‘not fully supported by available data.’ The effort was part of a nationwide movement of ‘tort reform’ that swept legislatures, which arbitrarily reduced damage awards made by juries, regardless of the facts.” In other words, the Florida Supreme Court corrected an injustice perpetrated on the public and victims of medical malpractice for financial and political gain. In this instance, the judicial branch of government ruled correctly in curbing the aggressive and unconstitutional behavior of the legislature.
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