Florida Medical Malpractice Caps on Damages Held Unconstitutional

Today, a Florida appellate Court ruled that the caps on non-economic damages in Florida medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. The case is North Broward Hospital District et al. v. Kalitan. Last year, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that caps in Florida medical malpractice cases were unconstitutional but limited its ruling to medical malpractices cases resulting in a wrongful death. Given today’s opinion by the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, there is no longer a cap on non-economic damages in any Florida medical malpractice case.

Originally, caps on non-economic damages were statutorily imposed by Fla. Stat. §766.118. The court in Kalitan ruled that all caps under Fla. Stat. §766.118 were unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Florida Constitution. Art. I, § 2, Fla. Const. In ruling, the court stated, simply:

. . . the caps on noneconomic damages in section 766.118 fully compensate those individuals with noneconomic damages in an amount that falls below the caps, injured parties with noneconomic damages in excess of the caps are not fully compensated.

All victims of medical malpractice in Florida now stand to recover the full amount of both their economic damages (i.e. lost wages, the cost of medical care, etc.), as well as the full amount of their non-economic damages (i.e. loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, mental anguish, etc.). This is a huge victory for victims of medical malpractice in Florida.

Read the full opinion in North Broward Hospital District et al. v. Katilan here: http://www.4dca.org/opinions/July%202015/07-01-15/4D11-4806.op.pdf

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