Another Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Caps Unconstitutional
Recently, an out-of-state Supreme Court ruled that the cap, or limit, on how much a person can be awarded for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice claim is unconstitutional.
“It’s about time rulings like this are being handed down,” said Cleveland medical malpractice attorney Christopher Mellino.
In a recent birth injury lawsuit, a boy was born with catastrophic brain damage because the doctor in charge of the delivery delayed an emergency C-section. At trial, the jury awarded the boy and his mother $1.45 million for pain and suffering; however, the judge reduced that award to $350,000 in accordance with that state’s cap on non-economic damages.
“On appeal, this decision was overruled,” Mellino said.
The court’s opinion stated that the cap was equivalent to limiting a jury’s fact-finding function, which violates the constitutional right to trial by jury.
Statistics have revealed that, in that particular state, medical malpractice lawsuits have dropped by about 58 percent since 2005 despite an influx of roughly 1,000 doctors. Medical malpractice insurance premiums had dropped almost $27 million.
“The reason they dropped is less likely due to the cap and more likely due to the fact that, due to the cap, patients couldn’t get justice and couldn’t sue for a fair amount to pay medical bills and other expenses,” said Mellino. “So rather than go through an arduous lawsuit, they tried to cope on their own at a significant financial disadvantage. In light of this recent decision, victims now have the opportunity to be made whole again, and that’s a good thing.”
If you have questions about an injury or medical malpractice, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation.
Why Should I Trust Chris Mellino to Handle My Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
First, Mellino Law Firm does not advertise. Attorneys and satisfied clients send us the majority of our cases. Others find us online.
Second, Chris Mellino is respected throughout northeast Ohio for his ability to dig below the surface and make sure no fact is overlooked. In fact, he’s been involved in several landmark cases, including Moskovitz v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1994) and Watkins_v._Cleveland_Clinic_Foundation (1998). In the latter, he and his previous partner were awarded the largest verdict in the state that year.
Third, medical malpractice claims are labor intensive, so we’re selective about the cases we accept. Some firms take every case that walks in the door, settle those cases for the first amount the defendant offers, so they can fund their next commercial to bring in even more clients, and leave clients in the hands of “case managers.” Mellino Law Firm only pursues compensation for patients who’ve suffered a severe injury or death. By limiting the number of claims we accept, we’re able to give each one the attention it deserves.
Last but not least, since 2010, Mellino Law Firm has been the only malpractice law firm in Cleveland to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service.