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Last week, the Florida Supreme Court struck a blow for justice. The former Chief Justice Fred Lewis wrote a lengthy opinion debunking the “medical malpractice crisis” as a myth having no foundation in fact today, if ever, and invalidating damage caps on noneconomic damages in medical negligence cases. First, the Supreme Court found caps on economic damages of medical malpractice victims in wrongful death cases to be arbitrary and bearing no rational relationship to the alleged purpose sought to be addressed by the damage caps, i.e. the supposed “medical malpractice crisis”. The Court said the damages cap imposed unfair and illogical burdens on victims of medical malpractice causing wrongful death and that multiple victims in a single case do not receive the same rights to full compensation because of the arbitrary reduction of their claims. The Supreme Court also analyzed the legislative history of the purported “medical malpractice crisis” and found that the existence of a medical malpractice crisis was “dubious and questionable at best” and specifically found some legislative findings regarding the enactment of the statute to be unsupported by the legislative record itself.
The fight for equal justice for all will never end. There will always be monied special interests lobbying for special privileges under the law. Trial attorneys like us will never stop fighting to level the playing field for powerless against the powerful. Last week was rare beacon for justice that we are proud to share on our blog.