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Medical Malpractice Damages Caps Unconstitutional in Illinois

On February 4, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court filed its opinion invalidating Public Act 94-677 (Act) and, more specifically, section 2-1706.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which sets caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits. This appeal stems from a 2006 suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Abigaile Lebron.

Abigaile was delivered by Caesarean section in October 2005 and suffered severe and permanent mental and physical complications, which were allegedly the direct result of acts and omissions by the defendants, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, et al. Relying on Best v. Taylor Machine Works, 179 Ill. 2d.367 (1997), as precedent, the circuit court deemed statutory caps a violation of the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution, and invalidated the Act. The circuit court then granted the plaintiff’s motion for partial judgment of the pleadings.

In its split decision filed February 4, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the circuit court’s ruling and remanded the case for further proceedings. See: Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hosp., 930 NE 2d 895 (2010).

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Related legal case

Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hosp.