» Another Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Caps are Unconstitutional

Another Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Caps are Unconstitutional

Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) October 5, 2012 - Caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases are being struck down slowly but surely in various states.

Mellino Robenalt LLC has Cleveland Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorneys

Mellino Robenalt LLC has Cleveland Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorneys

“Missouri’s Supreme Court has recently ruled that the cap on pain and suffering damages in a medical malpractice case, which is set at $350,000, is unconstitutional, as it deprives patients/victims of their right to a trial by jury. It’s about time rulings like this are being handed down,” said Christopher Mellino, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer of Mellino Robenalt LLC, in Ohio. “For those who strongly believe in constitutional rights, this decision is welcomed with open arms.”

The Court’s opinion included a bit of history relating to the Missouri Constitution of 1820, which in a nutshell, stated residents of Missouri had a common law “right” to ask for damages for medical malpractice. To limit damages is to limit a jury’s fact finding function, which is in violation of the constitutional right to trial by jury.

The case involved a mother whose son was born with catastrophic brain damage. The doctor in charge of the delivery delayed an emergency C-section. At trial, the jury awarded the boy $1.45 million for pain and suffering. The award was reduced by the judge to $350,000, in accordance with Missouri’s cap for medical malpractice cases. “On appeal, this decision was overruled,” explained Mellino.

“What was the reaction of the state medical association? It was not impressed, with their president suggesting the decision turned the clock back to a time when there was a medical malpractice lawsuit crisis. On reflection, if there was a crisis, it only developed because there ‘was’ medical malpractice present. So, really, they have that backwards, particularly when it comes to patient rights,” Mellino remarked.

Statistics released by the Missouri Medical Association revealed that since their medical malpractice law had been enacted, in 2005, lawsuits dropped by just about 58 percent, and there had been an influx of roughly 1,000 doctors, and that medical malpractice insurance premiums had dropped almost $27 million.

“The reason they dropped,” Mellino suggested, “may be less likely due to the cap and more likely due to the fact that with the cap, patients could not get justice and could not sue for fair damages, and thus had to try and cope on their own, at a significant financial disadvantage. In light of this recent decision, medical malpractice patients now have the chance to sue for injuries caused by medical negligence, and that is a good thing.”

To learn more or to contact a Cleveland malpractice attorney, visit http://www.christophermellino.com.

Mellino Robenalt LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901

  • How to Prove Medical Negligence in a Hospital
    Mention the term “medical negligence,” and most people think of doctors or other healthcare providers making mistakes or failing to provide proper care that meets specific basic standards. But sometimes, it’s the hospital itself, and not the healthcare provider, that’s at fault — and sometimes, it’s both. Identifying who’s at fault, as well as each […]
  • How Often Does Birth Trauma Occur in America?
    About 4 million babies are born each year in the U.S., according to data from the CDC, and most of those births occur without causing harm to the newborn babies. In fact, in the U.S., childbirth is considered a fairly commonplace event medically speaking, with most mothers and babies returning home after just a 48-hour […]
  • How a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help with Challenges of Raising a Birth-Injured Child
    The Mayo Clinic describes cerebral palsy as a disorder that causes impairment due to damage to a developing brain, usually before or during birth. Typically, babies or preschool children display symptoms of this disorder. Levels of disability may vary by the individual. For instance, some children with cerebral palsy can walk and function well in […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required