Medical Malpractice Damage Caps and the Consitution

All to often, discussion concerning caps or limits on medical malpractice damage awards produces more heat than light. Regrettably, the Constitution is never mentioned in such discussions. However, the Constitution is the document that should guide and inform any such discussion. Cameron Stephenson has penned an excellent piece on this issue recently. He writes, “Pursuant to the Constitution of the United States, as well as the individual state constitutions, ordinary citizens are granted the right to trial by jury, equal protection under the law, and due process of law. Moreover, the Constitution mandates the separation of powers between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. When state representatives and senators enact legislation that places a cap or limitation on the amount of damages recoverable in medical malpractice lawsuits, each one of the above referenced provisions is violated.”