Noneconomic damages are more commonly known as “pain and suffering” damages.
The Florida laws governing noneconomic damages caps for medical malpractice cases have a long and tortuous history dating back to 2003. The worst part about their storied past is that the current status of the noneconomic damages caps is still in flux.
- 2003: Florida passed legislation setting caps on noneconomic damages at $500,000 (or $1m for wrongful death). These statutes were in effect and untouched until 2014.
- 2014: The Florida Supreme Court ruled that these caps were unconstitutional, but only in wrongful death medical malpractice cases.
- 2017: The Florida Supreme Court extended this 2014 ruling to all noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases (N. Broward Hosp. Dist. v. Kalitan, 219 So. 3d 49 (Fla. 2017)).
- 2020: Despite the court ruling these caps unconstitutional, the relevant Florida laws remain unchanged. If you seek out the official Florida statutes, you will find that the pre-2014 damage caps on noneconomic damages are still listed (Fla. Stat. §766.118(2)-(6)).
In short, despite the various rulings and hubbub, it is likely that noneconomic damages in your medical malpractice lawsuit will be capped at $500,000 for medical practitioners.
Are You The Victim of Medical Malpractice?
The nuances of the noneconomic damages caps require a professional medical malpractice attorney to decipher. If you believe you have suffered harm from medical malpractice, please get in touch with us today to discuss your legal options.