Florida gets one right.

Florida gets one right.

The Supreme Court of Florida rejected the state legislature’s cap on medical malpractice damages. Essentially they found that the cap discriminated unfairly. A person who was injured by the negligent fault of a doctor or health care provider would have the amount of their actual damages, as determined by a jury, limited. A person damaged by the negligence of a layperson with the same damages would not. I’ve written before about caps and medical malpractice limits, and go into some length on the statistics on my firm website,  but let me sum up my opinions as follows:

1.    Statistics show that doctors do not leave states without medical malpractice caps. The Florida court points out that the statistics show the opposite.

2.     Medical malpractice lawsuits are a fraction of the cases of actual medical malpractice, even ones causing death. Reduce medical malpractice and any “problem” with medical malpractice lawsuits will fix themselves.

3.    Medical malpractice lawsuits are resolved by a jury. That jury can and does include people who can award or limit damages based on a large number of factors that are specific to that particular case, including people who believe plaintiffs file cases without any merit and injured patients get a windfall of money for their injuries. The jury is the most powerful democracy in the United States. One vote out of 12 on a jury will have much more impact on a person that one vote out of millions in a general election. Arbitrarily limiting the maximum amount a jury can award makes as much sense as mandating a minimum amount they must award.

–Bradley A. Coxe is a practicing attorney in Wilmington, NC with Hodges & Coxe PC who specializes in Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Homeowner’s Associations, Contract and Real Estate disputes and all forms of Civil Litigation.  Please contact him at (910) 772-1678.