Hardly a day passes when there is not another injustice due to arbitrary caps on damages placed there by legislators without looking at the facts of the case. Just today I read about a birth injury case in Virginia that settled for $1.35 million. The child has cerebral palsy and brain damage. Is $1.35 million enough to care for this child for life due to the negligence of doctors? I don’t think so.
The child’s attorney expressed it best, “The cap on malpractice awards imposes a burden on the most severely injured.” Only a few cases involve catastrophic damages, but with caps, it is a double injury to those unfortunate children. Not only are they injured for life, but the wrongdoer is not held responsible for the full amount of harm done.
We all know health care is not as safe as it should be. A very substantial body of evidence points to medical errors as a leading cause of death and injury. The Institute of Medicine found that deaths due to preventable errors exceeded the deaths caused by auto accidents. We have to ask our legislators to take action to see that wrongdoers are held accountable for the harm they cause.