This is part three of a three-part series. Part one and part two appeared previously this week.
When Ronald Sanders’ wife died of brain damage in a hospital in 2005, he sued neurologist Iftekhar Ahmed. The doctor had ordered Depakote, an anti-seizure medicine, for her but failed to order any blood tests. Sanders went into a coma because the drug’s side effects caused her brain cells to die.
At the end of the medical malpractice trial, the jury awarded Sanders and his daughters money to pay back medical bills plus $9.2 million in non-economic damages.
There was just one problem: a state law that caps the non-economic damages in
medical malpractice lawsuits. That statute cut down Sanders’ $9.2 non-economic awards to $1.2 million. Sanders appealed and the case was heard by the Missouri Supreme Court on Nov. 2.
Sanders argues that the legislature’s cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits violates the Missouri Constitution, which guarantees the right of trial by jury. The legislature first imposed limits on non-economic damage awards in an effort to hold down the rise in medical malpractice insurance rates.
Unless the state supreme court restores the will of the jury, it will be another example of how tort reform has throttled the authority of juries and taken away a legal award won by a consumer in court.
Please see full article below for more information.
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