Saturday, December 9, 2017

US Supreme Court denies review in case challenging the constitutionality of the damages cap in Nebraska

Nebraska has one of the few caps in the nation that is applied to total, as opposed to non-economic, damages in med mal cases.  In August 2015, a jury awarded the family of a brain-damaged infant $17M in damages, but pursuant to the cap, the trial judge reduced the award to $1.75M.  Last June, the Eighth Circuit unanimously affirmed the trial judge.  The plaintiffs argued the cap is unconstitutional and appealed to the US Supreme Court. 

The argument is based on the notion that the Constitution recognized a right to a trial by jury and it is the jury (not the legislature) who should be allowed to determine the value of the claim.  Other jurisdictions have so held.

Yet, last Monday, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The TortsProf blog has more on the story here.

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