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Updated by Julian Knight on Sep 11, 2015
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States Where Malpractice Damage Caps Were Ruled Unconstitutional

1

Alabama

Alabama

Medical malpractice damage caps were first enacted in Alabama in 1987. Although still on the books, in 1991 the Supreme Court of Alabama held that the law violated state constitutional provisions protecting the rights to trial by jury and equal protection of the law.

7

Florida

Florida

Florida's 4th District Court of Appeal's decision followed the Florida Supreme Court's opinion on The Estate of Michelle Evette McCall v. U.S. (as discussed in our blog post). In Kalitan v. Alexander MD the appeals court cited the Supreme Court's opinion and said the damage limits violate equal-protection rights under the state Constitution .

2

Georgia

Georgia

In 2010 the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature may not limit the amount of money that juries award to victims of medical malpractice. The ruling struck down a 2005 state law. The state’s high court said the law violates the constitutional right to a trial by jury.

3

Illinois

Illinois

In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the state’s cap for damages was unconstitutional, being in violation of the separation of powers doctrine. Because only judges can reduce a remittitur (excessive verdict) they felt a statutory cap amounted to a “legislative remittitur”.

4

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

In 1979's Carsen v. Maurer the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that a malpractice damage cap was unconstitutional. The court felt such a law treated victims of medical negligence different from victims of other kinds of negligence by restricting the damages they may recover.

5

Oregon

Oregon

In 2013 the Oregon Supreme Court decided that the state's malpractice damage was unconstitutional insofar as it clashes with a person’s right to recover full jury-assessed compensation for injuries recognized as actionable in 1857 when Oregon adopted its constitution.

6

Washington

Washington

In 1989 the Washington Supreme Court held damage caps to be unconstitutional, eradicating a 1988 law imposing caps on non-economic damages. The court held that the statutory cap originally established was an unconstitutional infringement of the right to trial by jury.