Louisiana Court: Medical Malpractice Cap is Unconstitutional

Doug / 09-26-2011 / Medical Negligence

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Cap is Unconstitutional, Says Trial Court

According to the American Association for Justice, Louisiana state trial court has said that the Louisiana medical malpractice damages cap violates the state constitution’s equal protection and adequate remedy guarantees. The court cited the appellate court opinion striking the cap in suits against nurse practitioners, calling it discriminatory only against the most severely injured victims of medical malpractice, and no longer the reasonable alternative remedy our constitution requires.

Louisiana’s $500,000 cap on all damages is the most comprehensive in the nation and has not been revised since its inception in 1975. Judge Clayton Davis wrote the court opinion in the case involving two wrongful death lawsuits in which the plaintiffs received judgments in excess of the cap. The trial court heard both cases and the court upheld the cap as constitutional although agreeing with the plaintiffs that they lacked an adequate remedy because they were entitled to damages in excess of $500,000.

The cases were consolidated for appeal and went through several rounds of court hearings as an appellate court tried to strike down the cap. The plaintiffs received a boost last month when the en banc appellate court held in another case that the cap violates equal protection and adequate remedy rights in suits against nurse practitioners. The plaintiffs in the case are said to be happy with the recent ruling, but they expect the argument of Louisiana’s medical malpractice damages cap to eventually reach the Louisiana Supreme Court.

An Orlando injury attorney can provide guidance if you have been injured because of a medical center, healthcare professional or a hospital’s negligence.

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