Miami, FL (PRWEB) April 10, 2014
Florida’s Supreme Court recently declared caps limiting payments to victims of medical malpractice in wrongful death cases as unconstitutional, reversing a state law in place since 2003 and clearing the way for injury to be fairly compensated for their injuries, according to Miami medical malpractice attorney Jeffrey D. DeCarlo of the Law Office of Jeffrey D. DeCarlo, P.A.
Commenting on a March 13, 2014, report about the ruling in the Miami Herald, DeCarlo said the court decision was a victory for all Floridians.
“Florida’s Supreme Court made the right decision on this very important issue,” DeCarlo said. “When doctors, nurses and other trained practitioners make serious mistakes that result in a wrongful death, those medical professionals need to be held accountable. And patients and their families need to have a way to make sure they’re fairly compensated and can continue to live their lives with dignity. This ruling makes sure victims’ rights are protected. This ruling removes restrictions that effectively treated victims of medical malpractice in Florida as second-class citizens.”
Attorney DeCarlo added: “The Court’s decision should help right the wrong the legislature imposed upon Floridians in 2003 when they passed laws that severely restricted the rights of patients to bring medical malpractice lawsuits. As a result of the changes in those laws, victims of medical malpractice were deprived the opportunity to gain access to the courts and obtain full justice.”
The Florida Supreme Court ruled 5-2 on March 13 that caps on damages in medical liability lawsuits in wrongful death cases were unconstitutional and had “the effect of saving a modest amount for many by imposing devastating costs on a few,” according to the ruling written by Justice R. Fred Lewis and reprinted by the Miami Herald.
Although the Florida Supreme Court limited its holding to wrongful death cases, it is reasonable to expect some trial courts will apply the Florida Supreme Court’s reasoning in order to strike down, as unconstitutional, the damage caps that remain in personal injury medical malpractice cases also.
Florida’s 2003 law placed limits on pain and suffering for medical malpractice for wrongful death cases at $500,000 to $1 million depending on the circumstances of the case and the number of people involved in the case, the Miami Herald reported.
The Supreme Court case was in response to a lawsuit filed by the family of a 20-year-old woman who died in 2006 after she bled to death following a caesarian section performed by a doctor at a Fort Walton Beach hospital, the Miami Herald reported. A federal judge ruled that the woman’s family should receive $2 million in non-economic damages. However, due to the 2003 Florida law, the award had to be reduced to $1 million, the Miami Herald reported.
Now, families of victims of medical malpractice in wrongful death cases in Florida can pursue full compensation for their losses. They will be treated like any other family that is filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, according to Miami medical malpractice attorney Jeffrey D. DeCarlo of the Law Office of Jeffrey D. DeCarlo, P.A.
“No amount of money will bring back a loved one who dies due to a mistake made by a doctor or hospital,” DeCarlo said. “But hopefully, a fair settlement or verdict will prevent similar tragedies from occurring again. That’s why this ruling by the Florida Supreme Court is nothing short of monumental. Families now have a way to send a clear, loud message that negligent behavior by medical practitioners will not be tolerated. These cases are about more than just money. They’re about justice and about holding medical professionals and hospitals responsible for their actions.”
If you or a loved one was injured due to a mistake made by a doctor, surgeon, nurse or another medical professional in Florida, call 877-572-0065 to schedule a free case consultation and learn more about your legal options. You can also complete the online contact form.
The Miami Herald article cited is “Fla. Supreme Court rejects damage caps on medical malpractice.”
About the Law Office of Jeffrey D. DeCarlo, P.A.
Attorney Jeffrey D. DeCarlo is a medical malpractice attorney and nationally recognized pharmaceutical injury lawyer who has protected the rights of injury victims for over 15 years. His office is in Miami, Fla., but he serves clients throughout the State of Florida and the United States. Attorney Jeffrey D. DeCarlo is a member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, reserved for a small percentage of attorneys who have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In addition to handling medical malpractice claims, attorney Jeffrey D. DeCarlo accepts cases involving dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, car accidents and catastrophic personal injury.
Law Office of Jeffrey D. DeCarlo, P.A.
4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 201
Miami, FL 33137