Recent Court Decisions in Medical Malpractice in Florida

The Florida Supreme Court recently refused to confirm the restrictive terms of eligibility for expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases embodied in the Daubert Standard (HB 7015; SB 1792). Although it has already been enacted, there are those who believe that the refusal of the Supreme Court to adopt it in court indicate that the law itself is unconstitutional. The opinion of the court was sought in a motion to have the Florida Evidence Code amended to incorporate this expert witness standard.

In a related but separate instance, the high court also ruled that the cap on non-economic damages i.e. pain and suffering of $500,000 in medical malpractice lawsuits is contrary to the constitutional right to equal protection under state law. The rationale behind limiting the liability of medical professionals for errors that resulted in injury or harm to patients is to curb the rapid increase in medical malpractice insurance rates.

Some studies dispute that claim payouts and legal expenses are the reason why insurers increase premiums. Instead, it is suggested that insurers raise medical malpractice premiums to make more money off doctors.

The rulings of the high court in these matters are seen only as a temporary setback in the efforts to protect physicians and make it harder for victims to prove their case in medical malpractice cases. The movers behind the initiative concede that an amendment at this point would not be practicable as the legislative session had already begun.

Florida is not the only state to impose a cap on medical malpractice awards. In fact, there are only 15 states that have absolutely no cap on damages namely: Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Kentucky, Washington, District of Columbia, Wyoming, Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Vermont.

If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, the law may not always be on your side. Engage the services of a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling medical malpractice cases in your state to protect your rights and get just compensation.


2 Comments

  1. I have friends who are doctors and seeing firsthand the effects of the rapidly increasing med mal insurance rates.

  2. Your blog is improperly displaying characters when I use Ubunto with Google Chrome. Just thought you should know!

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