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Florida Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages Thrown Out as Unconsitutional

medmalpractice.jpgIn a long awaited decision by the Florida Supreme Court, Estate of Michelle Evette McCall v. U.S., No. SC11-1148, the damages cap provided in the Tort Reform law from a few years back was ruled illegal as it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution.

Although this opinion is limited to wrongful death noneconomic damages, it is likely that some trial courts will apply this Court’s reasoning to personal injury medical malpractice cases as well.

Because of the limits for noneconomic damages, it became cost prohibitive for plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers to seek relief for someone too young or too old to work. Why should those persons be entitled to any less than someone fully employed?

Now the playing field is more level. There are still stringent tests that an injured person must meet to prove that their care was negligent. However, now the very young or old are not treated as second class citizens.

We now have a 30 year veteran personal injury attorney, Ric Mitzel, in our offices at Christie D. Arkovich, P.A. if any of our clients have concerns whether they or a loved one received proper medical attention, please call our office and ask to speak with Ric. Don’t forget the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida is two years from when the patient either knew, or should have known with the exercise of reasonable diligence, that the injury has occurred. See Section 95.11. Florida Statutes. There is also an outside limit of four years known as a statute of repose that applies unless there is fraud, concealment or misrepresentation. So even if the patient or family does not know about the malpractice, they may not bring a claim more than four years after the incident in most cases.

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