In a terrific blow to those who hope to place artificial caps on those harmed by bad doctors, an Illinios court struck down the caps and found them to be violative of the Constitution. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Larsen ruled today that Public Act 94-677, the law that imposes arbitrary caps on damages for all victims of medical negligence, violates the Illinois Constitution as an improper exercise of legislative power. This is an important victory for the rule of law and constitutional government over the rule of special interests.
This is the third time that court has found that attempts to place caps is unconstitutional.
Of course, doctors and their insurance companies seek caps to avoid paying for the harms they cause. Time after time, and study after study, have shown there is no link between malpractice claims and doctor’s premiums. But the facts don’t matter when President Bush continues to make this issue one of such importance. Fortunately, reporters, legislators and judges are no longer buying the rhetoric and are being more skeptical of doctors crying wolf over and over again. The solution is quite simple. The Medical Societies must do a better job weeding out the bad apples among them and doctors who make mistakes have to accept personal responsibility for their actions.
Harvard Medical School reports about nearly 50,000 needless deaths a year and countless thousands of injuires are caused by medical malpractice. This epidemic has to stop. One thing is clear: State constitutions do not allow those who have been most seriously injured as a result of medical negligence to have their rights taken away in order to give bonuses to insurance companies.
In a statement released by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association said: ” ITLA remains firmly committed to preserving access to the courts and the right to trial by jury. Ultimately, it is the Illinois Constitution that protects all the citizens of Illinois against the attempts of powerful special interests to take away their rights”
It should be heartening to all of us that today a young child named Abigaile LeBron, who suffers brain damage as the result of medical negligence, is a step closer to receiving justice.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.