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|Trial Lawyers Happy with Medical Malpractice Ruling
|State lawmakers knew in 2005 that their newly-passed medical malpractice reform bill would be decided by the courts, and now that decision's been made. It's brought one victim to tears.
The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday ruled that the law, which included caps on pain and suffering awards, is unconstitutional. The justices believe the $500,000 cap on awards that would be assigned to doctors and the $1 million cap on awards that would be assigned to hospitals violate the autonomy of the judicial branch, by way of juries, to decide how much money a malpractice victim should win in non-economic damages.
That's good news to Molly Akers, New Lenox. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy in 2005, but was soon after told that slides were mixed up in the pathology lab, and that she didn't have cancer. She says the justices are making sure that victims matter, and that their pain and suffering matter.
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association past president Keith Hebeisen, who was Aker's attorney, says he thought attempts to impose caps would have died in 1997, when the Illinois Supreme Court ruled caps unconstitutional for the second time. The first case was decided in 1976.
Expressing "deep disappointment" is Dr. James Milam, obstetrician and president of the Illinois State Medical Society. He says the med mal law was written to keep doctors from fleeing the state because of high malpractice insurance costs, and predicts that Illinois will lose doctors now that the law's been struck down.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|02 05 10 by Newsroom
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