GEORGIA SUPREME COURT DECLARES CAPS ON MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

The Georgia Supreme Court announced today that, in a unanimous 7-0 ruling, it has found a state law limiting damages awarded for pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits to be unconstitutional.

The cap on awards was the heart of the 2005 attempt at tort reform. Look for the ruling to restart Georgia’s own debate over health care and its costs in the Legislature.

Click here for the link to the decision.

In a decision written by Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, the high court has upheld a Fulton County judge’s ruling and found that the caps placed on so-called “noneconomic damages” violate a citizen’s constitutional right to a trial by jury.

“In sum, …we conclude that the noneconomic damages caps in [Official Code of Georgia] § 51-13-1 violate the right to a jury trial as guaranteed under the Georgia Constitution,” today’s opinion says

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