Medical Malpractice Verdict Highlights Problems With Malpractice Caps

We have frequently mentioned the arbitrary nature and illogical outcomes produced by medical malpractice damage caps. NBC 2 News reported on a medical malpractice lawsuit that highlights those damaging effects created when the victims of medical errors have rights ignored.

A family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit after a medical error caused severe injury to their young daughter. Three years ago a hospital negligently prescribed a dose of nutrients 100 times stronger than necessary. The little infant’s frail body could not handle the massive intake. The young girl suffered cardiac arrest-she is now blind and suffers from cerebral palsy.

After hearing all of the evidence about the error, the losses suffered by the family, and the future expenses that will be required, a jury found the hospital guilty of malpractice. The community members awarded the family $19.2 million dollars. However, because of liability malpractice caps, that award to pay for the young girls care may be cut by a staggering 90%. The joint decision of neutral community members on the appropriate remedy for the situation is virtually ignored at the expense of those caring for the young girl.

If recently proposed federal legislation known as H.R. 5 is approved, than all Illinois medical malpractice victims will suffer the same erosion of rights. It represents a misguided, unnecessary, illogical shift in power away from victims and toward negligent big interests. All those interested in justice must stand in opposition.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti believe that there is a better way. Faith should be placed where it has always been-in the legal system itself. Instead of capricious rules that penalize certain patients through no fault of their own, our legal system should provide individualized attention to fairly assess each legal situation. Trust should be placed in judges and juries to properly hear evidence following each case, decide fault, and then award damages based on the individualized evidence that was presented. That is the only logical, time-tested, fair way to dispense justice in our system. Malpractice caps take a sledgehammer to that system and mandate arbitrary decisions in all cases.

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