When you are injured due to the negligence of another individual you are entitled to compensation. The 4th District Court of Appeal’s decision to deem a statute unconstitutional that would cap damages in a personal injury case was ratified.
According to section 766.118, there is a cap of $500,000 to $1 million on personal injury noneconomic damages in medical negligence actions. In the case involving Susan Kalitan, who sued North Broward Hospital District, her awarded damages were drastically reduced due to section 766.118. North Broward Hospital performed surgery on Mrs. Kalitan in regards to her carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrist, according to the court records. According to these court documents, Mrs. Kalitan experienced pain in her chest and back after the procedure which was said to be linked to the incident that happened during the surgery. One of the tubes used to administer anesthesia cut into her esophagus. Mrs. Kalitan had to receive life-saving surgery. Court documents state that the surgery left her with pain in her upper body and mental disorders.
It was found by a jury that Kalitan suffered “catastrophic injury”, in which they awarded her $4,718,011 in total damages. After the cap provided in section 766.118 took effect, her award was reduced to $2 million. Because of North Broward Hospital’s share of liability, it was reduced even further to $1.3 million.
The trial court’s decision to enforce section 766.118 was appealed by Kalitan in an argument that the statue was unconstitutional. The case of Estate of McCall v. United States was used to reach a conclusion on the decision. Mrs. McCall died after the birth of her son due to medical negligence. The court ruled that the $1 million statutory caps enforced due to section 766.188 was unconstitutional. The appeals court applied the same decision from the McCall case to Kalitan’s appeal and decided that the caps placed on the plaintiff’s award violated the Florida Constitution.
The June 8 opinion supported the appeal court’s decision that the caps of approximately $500,000 to $1 million that section 766.118 puts on personal injury noneconomic damages in medical negligence actions violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, call an experienced Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney to discuss your case.