Illinois Supreme Court Stikes Down Damage Caps In Medical Malpractice Cases

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Illinois struck down limits on jury awards in medical malpractice cases. Four years earlier, the Illinois legislature passed a statute capping potential awards in medical malpractice cases to pacify the health care industry that was complaining of high costs of liability insurance. The Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that the caps on pain and suffering and other non-economic damages, $ 500,000 per case for doctors and $ 1,000,000 per case for hospitals, was unconstitutional. A courageous trial judge in Cook County circuit court had held that the law interfered with the right of juries to decide such awards. The Supreme Court upheld the trial judge’s decision. This is the third time that Illinois’ high court has struck down statutes limiting medical malpractice awards. Hospitals, medical malpractice insurers, and doctors had successfully convinced the legislature that frivolous lawsuits and runaway jury verdicts were driving up insurance rates and forcing physicians to leave the state. In the case at issue, a girl suffered brain damage during her delivery at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park.


If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact The Florida Firm for a free consultation about your legal rights.