Florida's Second District Court of Appeal to Join State's Fourth Court District in Rejecting Medical Malpractice Cap
MIAMI, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A three-judge panel from Florida's Second District Court of Appeal adopted an opinion currently under review by the state's highest court finding the medical malpractice cap in Florida to be unconstitutional.
The panel ordered an increase in the damages awarded to lala Suarez and her daughter, after a jury found the child suffered debilitating neurological injuries and severe impairment that will require 24-hour care and will make her fully dependent on others for the rest of her life, as a result of the negligent response of several health care providers.
Suarez, whose health care providers failed to treat her worsening symptoms of early onset preeclampsia, visited Peace River Regional Medical Center in Port Charlotte, FL at least three times in a two week period only to be dismissed each time. During her doctor visits, Suarez should have been administered special medication -- corticosteroids -- to aide in the development of her child's brain and lungs. Ultimately, she ended up giving birth at 26 weeks to a baby girl with severe neurological impairments. Her medical staff also failed to transfer her to a level III facility equipped to handle premature births.
This ruling marks the second appellate decision where a Florida court of appeal finds the state's medical malpractice law capping damages in personal injury cases to be unconstitutional.
The court's decision to reject the medical malpractice cap followed a Fourth District court of appeal decision, which in turn, followed a Florida Supreme Court opinion that ruled unanimously that the cap on noneconomic damages in wrongful death cases was unconstitutional and should be extended to include personal injury cases as well. The appeals court cited the Supreme Court's opinion and said the damage limits violate equal-protection rights under the state Constitution.
Suarez is represented by Stuart N. Ratzan and Stuart J. Weissman of Ratzan Law Group, PA, in Miami, FL and Kimberly Boldt of the Boldt Law Firm in Boca Raton, FL.
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SOURCE Ratzan Law Group, PA