Ill. high court delays rule on medical malpractice

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 11:40 AM

The Illinois Supreme Court is not yet issuing an opinion on whether the state's medical malpractice law is constitutional.

The court announced earlier this week it could rule Thursday on whether damage awards in medical mistakes may be capped.

But no opinion was released. Justices traditionally give no reason for the timing of their decisions.

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.

That sent the issue to the high court.