West Virginia Justice Blasts Court Decision to Uphold Caps on Damages

A substitute justice filling in on the West Virginia Supreme Court blasted the state’s highest court in a 12-page dissent regarding its recent decision to uphold the state’s cap on damages in medical malpractice cases.
Justice Ronald Wilson wrote in his dissent that the justices “capitulated to the West Virginia Legislature’s political — and unconstitutional — mistreatment of medical malpractice victims, and by its decision, delivered the coup de grâce to the rights of thousands of West Virginians to be fully compensated for the losses caused by the negligence of medical professionals.”
In 2003, the West Virginia legislature passed a bill that capped non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases at $500,000.
“By hand-wringing about judicial restraint and deferring to the Legislature when considering an issue as serious as the one in this case,” Wilson said, “the Supreme Court failed to preserve those human rights to which our legal system is committed.”
Certainly, this is a strong dissent, especially for a substitute justice. He is to be applauded for his honesty and courage in dissenting from this opinion.