The fight is on! Mel-Mal caps challenge heads to WV supreme court.
On April 15, the WV Supreme Court voted 4-1 to accept the petition for appeal in McDonald v. City Hospital, Inc. The case involves a Medical Professional Liability Act (MPLA) jury verdict for the plaintiffs, awarding $1,129,000 to the plaintiff and $500,000 to his wife for loss of consortium, splitting liability between the doctor (70%) and the hospital (30%). The award to the plaintiff included $1M in noneconomic damages for past and future pain and suffering. On post trial motion, Circuit Judge Silver reduced the award to $500,000, applying the MPLA cap per WV Code [section] 55-7B-8b which caps noneconomic damages at $250,000 or $500,000 if there is death or substantial permanent injury. Judge Silver's ruling meant the wife's award was reduced to "0" and the plaintiff's to $500,000. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality at the circuit court level and pursued the issue on appeal.
The WVSMA is taking this challenge very seriously and we will be gearing up to engage in this battle to support the position that the noneconomic damages caps are constitutional and an appropriate exercise of legislative power. The noneconomic damages "caps" are a critical piece of the 2003 legislation, and maintaining them is essential to the state's ability to attract and maintain new doctors.
Now is the time for physicians to stand together.
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|Title Annotation:||SPECIAL NEWS|
|Publication:||West Virginia Medical Journal|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||May 1, 2010|
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