Florida Cap on Medical Malpractice Awards
A 2003 law that dismayed Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham and other attorneys throughout Florida may be headed for review before the state Supreme Court. That year, lawmakers passed legislation effectively capping the amount of pain-and-suffering damages that could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits at $1 million. Professional organizations such as the American Bar Association, the AARP and the Florida Justice Association have filed briefs recently supporting the challenge to the controversial $1 million pain-and-suffering cap and question the constitutionality of the law.
In a move that disappointed many Orlando personal injury lawyers, a federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law that caps damages that victims can receive in medical malpractice cases. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals made their ruling recently and issued a statement that the Florida law “passes muster” of the U.S. Constitution and Florida Constitution. Their ruling came after the family of a Florida woman named Michelle McCall claimed medical malpractice was responsible for her death after childbirth in 2006. They filed a lawsuit against a doctor they claimed was negligent.