Sunday, July 31, 2011

West Virginia Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of cap on damages in medical malpractice cases

In a case decided a little over a month ago called MacDonald v. City Hospital Inc., (available here), the Supreme Court of West Virginia has upheld the constitutionality of a statute that imposes a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases of $250,000 in most cases.  The statute increases the limit to $500,000 in cases where the damages are for: (1) wrongful death; (2) permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb or loss of a bodily organ system; or (3) permanent physical or mental functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for himself or herself and perform life sustaining activities.  Interestingly, originally, the statute set the limit at $1 million, but was later amended to lower the amount.

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