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medical malpractice

Supreme Court strikes down limit on medical malpractice awards

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medical malpractice

In a 4-3 decision, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday agreed with a lower court and said limiting certain damages in personal-injury medical malpractice lawsuits is unconstitutional. The ruling split along the usual lines, with the progressive-leaning justices concurring, and the conservatives—now including new Justice C. Alan Lawson—in dissent. The Legislature established $500,000 limits, or caps, on what are called “non­-economic” damages for such cases. The Supreme Court previously ruled they don’t apply in medical malpractice cases involving wrongful death. The…

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Florida Supreme Court declines to hear Tampa General malpractice case

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The Florida Supreme Court decided not to weigh in on a case between Tampa General Hospital and the estate of Annie Godwin, who died while undergoing surgery performed by University of South Florida physicians in 2009. Godwin died of blood loss during an operation to remove a cancerous tumor after a large vein was torn during surgery. After her death, Godwin’s estate sued Tampa General, USF and the physicians performing the procedure. The malpractice lawsuit centers around whether Tampa General…

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Another appellate court finds medmal caps unconstitutional

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medical malpractice

A second appeals court now has declared unconstitutional the state law limiting the amount of money for pain and suffering when medical malpractice results in injury. The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland this week joined the 4th District’s opinion regarding caps on what are known as “noneconomic damages.” The Florida Supreme Court still is reviewing that opinion, however. In 2014, the high court struck down pain-and-suffering damages limits in medical malpractice cases where the patient died. A year later, it ruled…

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Supreme Court allows lawsuit against doctor for patient’s suicide

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The Florida Supreme Court Thursday ruled that the husband of a Venice woman who committed suicide can sue her doctor for medical malpractice. The court sent the case back “with instructions to proceed to trial.” Robert Granicz had sued Dr. Joseph S. Chirillo Jr. after wife Jacqueline Granicz hung herself in the couple’s garage in October 2008, according to the opinion.  A trial judge dismissed the suit, saying Chirillo “did not have a legal duty to prevent Jacqueline’s suicide.” The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal later reversed…

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Bevy of big cases awaits state Supreme Court

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A plethora of high-profile matters is scheduled for argument before the Florida Supreme Court next week. The state’s justices will consider questions related to gambling, guns, capital punishment and medical malpractice. Another case involves claim bills, passed by lawmakers to pay people for injuries suffered at the hands of government or a public entity. Still two others involve attorneys fighting to keep their law licenses following accusations they set up an opposing lawyer to be arrested on a drunk-driving charge. First up on June…

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Supreme Court: Medical malpractice caps aren’t retroactive

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A 2003 law capping medical malpractice lawsuit awards at $500,000 can’t be applied retroactively. That’s what the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a Miami-Dade County case in which a woman suffered permanent damage to her leg from unnecessary surgery. A jury awarded Kimberly Ann Miles $1.5 million, but Dr. Daniel Weingrad appealed the case saying the award should be limited to the $500,000 cap then-Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law. An appeals court agreed with Weingrad, who operated on Miles…

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Biz group says focus should be Medicaid financing, not health access expansion

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The Legislature should focus its efforts on securing continued supplemental Medicaid funding for Florida hospitals but should not push ahead with a plan to provide health insurance access to uninsured Floridians, Florida Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson said in a memo Wednesday. The memo, directed to the Chamber’s board of directors and members Health Care Task members, said there are two realities in Tallahassee: The Senate’s current Medicaid “expansion” plan does not address important costs driver reforms…

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