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Court Strikes Down Malpractice Caps

A Cook County judge today threw out an Illinois law that capped some medical malpractice lawsuit awards. The judge sided with plaintiffs who argued that caps on pain-and-suffering judgments are unconstitutional. Todd Smith represents a plaintiff in the case.

SMITH: Everyone’s injury is not the same, and so everyone’s damages should not be capped at the same level. And it shouldn’t be capped at all. It ought to be a determination by a jury under our constitution, as to what’s fair and reasonable under all the circumstances based upon the evidence and the law.

The Illinois Hospital Association plan to appeal the ruling. Ken Robbins is the group’s president. He says the next step is the state Supreme Court.

ROBBINS: I’m confident that the Supreme Court will take this case in the context of what it means to have access to care for people in Illinois, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m confident that they’ll uphold the judgement of the Illinois legislature.

Robbins says the law gave hope to doctors who were being driven out of the state by high malpractice insurance rates.

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