Med-mal caps nothing more than a red herring: Industry transparency, market competition true source of insurance reform


Yet again the Illinois Supreme Court has stepped in to correct the legislative wrong of arbitrarily capping non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

As has been widely reported, our Supreme Court in the case of Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital recently struck down monetary caps on jury verdicts for individuals harmed by the negligence of doctors and hospitals. The law capping damages against doctors at $500,000 and against hospitals at $1 million was unconstitutional, the court ruled, because it violated the separation of powers clause of the state constitution. Assessing the appropriate amount of a jury verdict is a judicial power, not legislative, according to the court. This is the third time since the 1970s our state’s highest court has overturned jury verdict caps as unconstitutional.

The monetary caps were part of an insurance reform law passed in 2005. But the Legislature included a provision that if one part of the law was overturned then the entire legislation would be void.

That’s unfortunate.

No one is saying doctors don’t have a legitimate gripe about expensive insurance policies, but putting arbitrary caps on damages in personal injury lawsuits is not the answer to their complaint. Jury verdict caps simply don’t have the intended effect of decreasing insurance rates and making health care more affordable.

Even worse, limits on jury verdicts are misguided because they deprive the most seriously injured patients of their legal rights.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Bruce Goodman, Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.