Thomas J. Ueberschaer, P.A.
Serving The Florida Panhandle : Free Consultations
local: 850-332-0476
toll-free: 877-313-6880
Contact Menu Search
Request A Free Consultation >
View Our Practice Areas

Supreme Court strikes wrongful death caps

The Supreme Court of Florida recently ruled that statutory caps on medical malpractice wrongful death noneconomic damages in section 716.118 of the Florida Statutes are unconstitutional.  Noneconomic damages refers to nonfinancial losses including pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, and other nonfinancial losses.

In 2003 as part of an overhaul of medical malpractice law, then Governor Bush signed a law imposing a $500,000 limit per claimant on noneconomic damages in lawsuits involving personal injury or wrongful death arising from medical malpractice, but in no case could noneconomic damages awardable exceed $1 million, regardless of the number of claimants involved.  The Supreme Court in Estate of McCall v. Unites States of America held that, "the statutory cap on wrongful death noneconomic damages fails because it imposes unfair and illogical burdens on injured parties when an act of medical negligence gives rise to multiple claimants."  The Court went through an extensive review and discussion of the law's creation of caps as an alleged response to a health care crisis in Florida.  The Court concluded that the available data shows no current evidence of a medical malpractice crisis in Florida justifying this arbitrary limitation on damages that a jury may deem appropriate at trial.  It was decided that this statute violated the right to equal protection under Article I, Section 2 of the Florida Constitution.

This ruling was a victory for Florida citizens.  In the Supreme Court's own words, "the cap on noneconomic damages serves no purpose other than to arbitrarily punish the most grievously injured or their surviving family members."  A Wrongful Death attorney can again recover fair and just damages for those who deserve them in the most serious of medical malpractice claims.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Free Consultation Always | Contingency Fees Only | "Ask Tom" Today

All our work is done on contingency, so our clients don't have to worry about fees, which represent a percentage of the compensation they ultimately receive Contact us for a free consultation about your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Should you file a personal injury claim? Ask Tom.

Contact us today, or call 850-434-8778, to secure an initial consultation. If your serious injury prevents you from traveling to see us, we will come to you. Overnight messages and emails are promptly returned and we have two conveniently located law offices to serve you.

Pensacola Office
601 North Baylen Street
Pensacola, FL 32501

Toll Free: 877-313-6880
Phone: 850-332-0476
Phone: 850-434-8778
Fax: 850-469-1005
Pensacola Law Office Map

Panama City Office
929 Jenks Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401

Toll Free: 877-313-6880
Phone: 850-332-0476
Phone: 850-785-8011
Fax: 850-469-1005
Panama City Law Office Map

Review Us