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Jury Awards Damages in Excess of Medical Malpractice Cap

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Jury Awards Damages in Excess of Medical Malpractice Cap

A jury in federal court awarded $15 million in damages to a woman who claimed an imaging center failed to identify her tumor for nearly 18 months, leaving her condition undetected and treated and significantly reducing her odds of surviving cancer. The jury made their decision after a four-day trial and found that the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. was responsible for the failure to identify Courtney Webster's tumor after she underwent a scan in their facility in November 2014.

Webster, along with her husband Brian, sued the Minnesota-based business in 2016 claiming that the company was negligent in diagnosing her. This resulted in severe pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. The company denied responsibility in the case, claiming they were not a medical provider. Their stance on the case ultimately cost them even more. Had the case been recoverable under malpractice guidelines, the cap would have been $1.25 million.

Medical Malpractice and Damages Caps

Before you make the decision to file a claim for medical malpractice in Illinois, it is important to understand that these cases are complex. This means you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Strict procedures and rules must be followed, medical records must be examined and analyzed, and the burden of proof for the plaintiff is substantial. The cap on medical malpractice lawsuits in Illinois is also an important factor to take into consideration.

Up until 2010, Illinois had a clear cap on damages for medical malpractice lawsuits. Just like many other states, this cap put a limit on how much money the plaintiff in a claim could receive when it came to non-economic damages. In Illinois, that cap was $500,000 when the lawsuit was filed against a physician or health care provider. The cap increased to $1 million for lawsuits filed against a hospital or other type of healthcare facility.

In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the cap unconstitutional in the case of LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Medical malpractice lawsuits filed after that decision have had no cap in the non-economic damages.

What are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are compensation for the more subjective types of losses that are not as easily quantified by a dollar amount. These damages typically include compensation for things such as pain and suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment, loss of companionship, disfigurement, scarring, and other types of negative effects the plaintiff might have suffered.

Keep in mind that even if this applies to your situation, the cap on damages does not apply to the other type of compensation that medical malpractice victims receive – economic damages. This type of damages includes medical expenses, loss of income, diminished capacity for future income, and other financial losses stemming from your injuries.

Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you have suffered injuries at the hands of a medical practitioner or medical facility, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP will review your situation and advise you of your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Harlie Raethel)

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