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Malpractice Caps Ruling By Illinois Court On Hold

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 18, 2009 8:55 AM

The Illinois Supreme Court has delayed ruling on whether or not it will uphold its law on malpractice caps. The Chicago Breaking News Center reports that the Illinois Supreme Court has said that this is a normal occurrence. A spokesperson for the court said: "It is not unusual for an opinion that is on the anticipated list to be withdrawn before filing." The next time that the court will issue rulings will be mid-January.

While it is said to be a normal occurrence, it still brought some disappointment to the healthcare industry who was waiting to see how the law will impact them. The law addresses medical malpractice in Illinois. It places caps on awards given to victims of medical malpractice. The law, which was passed in 2005, limits recovery for medical malpractice to $500,000 from doctors and $1 million dollars from hospitals.

How Does This Law Work?

The law basically restricts plaintiffs of medical malpractice from collecting more than $500,000 in damages from doctors and from collecting $1 million dollars from hospitals.

Why Was This Law Passed?

Doctors in Illinois lobbied for medical malpractice in Illinois to be controlled with a law because they claimed that there was a medical litigation "crisis." They claimed that if there was not a law instituting malpractice caps, then there would be a mass exodus of specialists such as neurosurgeons and ob/gyns who have the highest medical malpractice insurance premiums.

Why Is This Law Being Challenged?

Individuals against the law say that the law infringes upon the judiciary. They claim that courts alone have the power to decide whether damages are too high or low. They also claim that the caps are too low for individuals who may need future medical care that will exceed the amount allowed by the malpractice caps.

The court is expected to decide on the law in mid-January.

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