TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Caps placed on how much money people can receive in cases where a doctor's mistakes led to a patient's death have been declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.
The lawsuit limits were part of a law then-Republican Gov. Jeb Bush pushed in 2003 in an effort to lower the cost of malpractice insurance rates and keep doctors from moving out of state. Supporters at the time called skyrocketing insurance rates a crisis.
In a 5-2 decision Thursday, the court said the caps in such cases violate the equal protection guarantee in the state's constitution.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states have some type of cap on medical malpractice awards. Florida becomes at least the seventh state to declare medical malpractice award limits unconstitutional.