Recently, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued three opinions on the constitutionality of key provisions of the Georgia Tort Reform Act of 2005. In separate cases, the Court upheld the constitutionality of a “gross negligence” standard of care for malpractice claims against emergency health care providers, upheld the offer of judgment and offer of settlement statute, but declared unconstitutional the $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. These decisions will have a significant impact on medical malpractice cases, although the offer of settlement statute applies to tort claims generally, not just medical malpractice cases. The Court’s decisions are described in further detail below.
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