The medical malpractice team at Goldberg Finnegan is pleased to report that on February 4, 2010 the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated the Illinois cap on non-economic damages finding that it violated the separation of powers doctrine in the Illinois Constitution. The opinion was issued by Chief Judge Fitzgerald.

The case involved the alleged improper medical care provided during the delivery of Abigaile Lebron which resulted in birth injuries, severe brain injuries and cerebral palsy, cognitive mental impairment, inability to be fed normally and a gastronomy tube was needed and an inability to develop normal neurological function (Our medical malpractice team has handled many similar cases).

The Illinois Court held that the limits on non-economic damages (damages for pain, suffering and disfigurement) in section 2-1706.5 of the Ill. Code violated the separation of powers clause of the Illinois State Constitution. To see a copy of the opinion, click here. Prior to this Court opinion, Illinois victims of medical malpractice were limited to $500,000.00 for pain and suffering damages regardless of the extent of their injuries.

Caps of non-economic damages are especially unfair to widows, orphans, the disabled, the elderly and to women who are less likely to have large economic damages if they are not employed

The medical malpractice team at Goldberg Finnegan has represented numerous children and families in the State of Maryland who have suffered from birth injuries. Christian Mester and Jean Jones (a nurse and attorney) recently resolved a medical malpractice case for $4.15 million dollars on behalf of a child who was deprived of oxygen to the brain during delivery. This resulted in cerebral palsy. The parents now have the funds to allow their injured child to obtain the care she needs.

In the State of Maryland, we have a very unfair cap on non-economic damages as well. In Medical Malpractice cases, the cap for claims arising after January 1, 2009 is $665,000.00 for non-death cases and $831,250.00 in wrongful death cases if there are multiple claimants. For personal injury cases that are not medical malpractice cases, the Maryland cap on non-economic damages is $665,000.00 for an individual’s claim, $997,500 for wrongful death cases with multiple claimants. There are cases pending in the Maryland Court of Appeals that challenge Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages.

As the President of the Maryland Association for Justice, Kevin Goldberg has worked with the MAJ legislative team to push legislation before the Maryland General Assembly to revise Maryland’s unfair Medical Malpractice Cap to bring it back in line with the higher cap for personal injury death cases.