After more than 10 years of appeals and challenges, the Florida Supreme Court has finally declared that caps on medical malpractice damages are unconstitutional. The final decision was made based upon the tragic case of Michelle McCall, a young woman who bled to death after the c-section delivery of her son in February 2006. Ms. McCall was a patient of a U.S. Air Force hospital in fort Walton Beach, Florida. Her family filed a suit against the United States for wrongful death due to medical malpractice.
Originally, a federal judge ruled that McCall indeed received negligent care and ordered a $2 million award to be divided among McCall’s parents and son for mental anguish and suffering. The verdict was then reduced to $1 million to abide by laws placing a cap on medical malpractice damage caps.
The family appealed the reduced verdict in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming that damage caps violate the Constitution. The verdict was upheld by the appellate court with a ruling that deemed the reduction a non violation of federal law. The court did, however, suggest that Florida’s Supreme Court consider that caps on damages may in fact violate an Equal Protection clause found in the Florida Constitution.
The Supreme Court did indeed pass down an opinion stating that damage caps do violate florida’s Constitution, calling the cap “unfair and illogical” for placing additional and unneeded burdens placed on multiple victims of medical malpractice. Justice R. Fred Lewis also suggested that the legislation placing caps on damages “has the effect of saving a modest amount for many by imposing devestating costs on a few.”
The personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are quite pleased that legislation placing damage caps on medical malpractice verdicts have been removed in Florida. You can’t place a cap on pain and suffering and therefore can’t place a cap on the compensation owed to those who suffer catastrophic injuries or death from severe negligence.
If you or a loved one have suffered the devestating effects of medical negligence, contact on of the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in earning fair compensation for clients and the families of clients who’ve suffered serious and debilitating injuries or death. Contact us for a free case evaluation online or call 215-568-3500.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More