Ill. high court could rule on medical malpractice

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 10:11 AM

The Illinois Supreme Court is announcing it will release a decision on whether the state's medical malpractice law is constitutional.

The court said it could rule Thursday on whether damage awards in medical mistakes may be capped.

The General Assembly adopted caps in 2005 as a way to keep doctors from fleeing the state because of rising insurance rates.

It limited what victims could collect for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering to $500,000 against doctors and $1 million against hospitals.

A Cook County judge ruled in 2007 that caps interfered with juries' power to award appropriate damage awards for medical errors.

The high court has twice before thrown out medical malpractice caps.