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Malpractice cap once again subject of high court case

Pennsylvania, like all other states, has its own set of laws surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits. Some states place limits on the amount of money that victims can be awarded while others have no limits whatsoever. Statutes of limitations also vary and govern the time periods in which people may bring suits forth after injuries have been allegedly sustained. These laws can include everything from birth injuries to surgical errors.

Sometimes watching the wave of actions regarding medical malpractice laws and claims in other states can give a window into the national tide. Florida is making headlines for the second time this year so far. In March, the state Supreme Court made a ruling that essentially declared part of the state’s damage cap award law from 2003 unconstitutional in relation to a wrongful death that happened in 2006.

The high court will soon hear a case that focuses on the retroactive nature of the damage cap. The case in question involves an injury sustained before the cap was enacted into law yet the actual lawsuit was not filed until nearly three years later, when the damage cap was firmly in place. The victim’s $1.5 million award has been reduced to the state’s limit of $500,000 for this set of circumstances. The plaintiff asserts that the original award should stand since the unnecessary surgery took place prior to the cap being put into place.

Many things can cause serious injury or a worsened condition to patients. People who have been the victim of surgical errors or other forms of medical negligence may wish to talk to a lawyer to learn how they can get help.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “High court to weigh in on medical malpractice caps again,” Jim Saunders, May 29, 2014

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