Just returning from Texas, i can attest that tort reform works! So why New York are you still not on the bandwagon? Is it that too much money is being made by lawyers and members of our government? On one hand you tout reform for physicians and on the other you don’t pass bills that will actually help lower malpractice premiums and stop the greedy lawyers from suing physicians out of practice.
WAKE UP NEW YORK!
Doctors – stop speaking in silence – its deafening! Tell us the problems, don’t allow “them” to speak for you – they are not on your side!
WAKE UP DOCTORS!
Slowly the Country Turns Toward reform………………………..
Sleepless Nights Are Over In Kansas
On October 5, the Kansas Supreme Court handed physicians a huge victory issuing a long-awaited opinion upholding the state’s $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability lawsuits. In its 5-2 ruling, the court said the legislature’s decision to enact the cap was rationally related to a valid legislative purpose – to ensure the availability of quality health care and affordable malpractice insurance for Kansas health care professionals – and therefore did not violate the state constitution. This is the second time Kansas’ high court has upheld the cap which was first enacted in 1988.
The ruling comes a little over a month after Missouri’s Supreme Court overturned Missouri’s $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages.
Mixed Rulings In Other States
Overturned in Missouri
In late July, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the state’s $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages passed in 2005. The chief justice said the state’s 1820 constitution grants citizens an “inviolable right” to a trial by jury and the cap on damages violated that right by removing a jury’s ability to decide the magnitude of damage.
Upheld in Louisiana and Texas
The Supreme Court of Louisiana reaffirmed in March this year the state’s $500,000 limit on total damages (both noneconomic and economic) and held that it applies to all health professionals including nurse practitioners. Lower courts had issued mixed opinions on the constitutionality of the cap and said it should not apply to nurses. Louisiana’s cap, enacted in 1974, is one of the oldest in the country. Under the cap, physicians who contribute to the state’s Patient Compensation Fund are responsible only for the first $100,000 of a liability judgment. The Fund covers the remaining $400,000, with no limit on future medical expenses.
In Texas, a federal judge ruled earlier this year that Texas’ $250,000 cap on noneconomic damage should stay in effect. The landmark cap was passed twice in 2003 – first by the Texas legislature and then by Texas citizens who went to the polls and approved a ballot measure a few months later affirming the constitutionality of the cap under the state constitution. Plaintiffs challenged the cap in federal court in 2008 on four grounds: right to trial, due process, equal protection and right to petition.
Still Pending in Florida
In Florida, physicians await a ruling from their Supreme Court on the $500,000/$1million limit on noneconomic damages passed in 2003. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the cap does not violate the federal Constitution but also said the Florida Supreme Court should address the issue under the state constitution.