Florida Supreme Court Finds Unconstitutional A Florida Law Which Limited An Injured Parties Right To Recover Non-Economic Damages In A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In 2003, after heavy lobbying by doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, then-Governor Jeb Bush approved a bill that included capping noneconomic damages in malpractice cases involving wrongful-death claims. Noneconomic damages typically relate to issues such as pain and suffering. Last week the Florida Supreme Court found this law to be unconstitutional, stating the cap served only to “arbitrarily punish the most grievously injured” or their families. This action was brought by a family whose daughter died days following childbirth as a result of negligent medical care leaving her to bleed to death internally. A jury award was drastically reduced due to this law. Now that this law has been overturned not only will this family be able to be fully compensated for their losses, but so will other victims whose lives were permanently altered by no fault of their own. The Florida Medical Association has responded to the ruling warning that the ruling will lead to more malpractice lawsuits, which will drive doctors to practice in other states.
The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman is concerned with government action taking the decision making process away from the people, i.e., our jury system. Opinions of elected officials, who may have interests contrary to those of the community, should not pass laws which limit the decision making ability of the people. As to the comments made by the Florida Medical Association, perhaps they could enact better laws or safeguards to prevent the continued licensure of those physicians who repeatedly endanger the safety of their patients by providing less than acceptable medical care. Such actions would protect our safety as well as those of our loved ones.
The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman have been blessed throughout the years with outstanding medical physicians and personnel who have gone over and beyond the call of duty providing the utmost in professional medical care to our clients, friends and loved ones, and to those we forever remain grateful. However, in any profession there are some who cause shame and embarrassment, and those should lose the right to practice. I know that the majority of those in the medical profession who have dedicated their lives in providing superior medical attention would agree.
The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman are always interested in the safety for the people of our community. We welcome your thoughts on this controversial subject. As always please feel free to contact my office with any legal questions you may have.