TALLAHASSEE, Fla.: Fla. Supreme Court tosses medical malpractice caps - Business Wires - MiamiHerald.com: "TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Caps placed on how much money people can receive in cases where a doctor's mistakes led to a patient's death were declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday. The lawsuit limits were part of a law then-Republican Gov. Jeb Bush pushed in 2003 in an effort to lower the cost of malpractice insurance rates and to keep doctors from moving out of state. Supporters at the time called skyrocketing insurance rates a crisis.
In a 5-2 decision, the court said the caps in such cases violate the equal protection guarantee in the state's constitution.
"The cap on non-economic damages serves no purpose other than to arbitrarily punish the most grievously injured or their surviving family members," the court wrote.
Thirty-five states have some type of cap on medical malpractice awards, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida becomes at least the seventh state to declare medical malpractice award limits unconstitutional. The ruling doesn't affect other states because it is based on the Florida constitution."
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