This past week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that damages caps were unconstitutional. The finding was that the 2005 state law, which capped damage awards for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering at $500,000 against doctors and $1 million against hospitals, violates the Illinois constitution’s "separation of powers" doctrine by infringing on courts’ prerogative to determine appropriate damages in cases.
This was the second time that the court had struck down the legislature’s attempt to impose caps on damage awards. There are of course a number of groups criticizing the ruling. The American Medical Association was one of the first.
"Today’s court decision threatens to undo all that Illinois patients and physicians have gained under the cap, including greater access to health care, lower medical liability rates and increased competition among medical liability insurers,” AMA President Dr. James Rohack said in a statement.
Of course, they don’t address the children who will benefit from getting full justice. The homemakers who have their lives forever altered but their damages are a big wage loss. Even that there is a state like Minnesota that has the lowest premiums, low number of case filings, and great medical care overall while having no caps.
Hopefully, this ruling will lead to more lives saved and justice provided for all citizens. There are those who are of course working to artificially cap claims again. This short sighted assault on consumer rights needs to be continually monitored.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.