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Georgia Supreme Court Strikes Down Damages Cap in Medical Malpractice Cases

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 23-Mar-2010

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a "unanimous Georgia Supreme Court on Monday struck down limits on jury awards in medical malpractice cases," finding that the non-economic damages cap of $350,000 violates the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution.  According to the report, the Court found that the cap "’clearly nullifies the jury’s findings of fact regarding damages and thereby undermines the jury’s basic function,’ Chief Justice Carol Hunstein wrote for the court."

The AP reports that the ruling "will likely herald a flurry of new litigation, as the court said the ruling applied retroactively to all other pending medical-malpractice cases, including those that are now in the appeals process." In the case before the court, Betsy Nestlehutt "was awarded $1.15 million in non-economic damages — including $900,000 in pain and suffering — by a Fulton County jury after she was permanently disfigured after a botched facelift."

This ruling is a victory for justice.  People who are permanently and horrifically injured due to the carelessness of others deserve fair and just compensation, not an arbitrary amount limited by lawmakers who know nothing of teh facts of individual cases.  We are a government of the people and for the people.  We the people, as juries, are in te best position to determine what constituted justice based upon the unique facts and circumstances of a case.

Regrettably, many special interest groups seek to dismantle the civil justice system in an effort to maximize profits.  The greed of some should never shape the law.  Talk to your representatives in government, and tell them to put safety and people over profits.  Never allow them to strip you of your fundamental, constitutional right to access to justice.

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About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also acknowledges him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

Mr. Zambri was sought after to publish a chapter regarding product liability litigation in Aspatore Books – a company that is touted as "the largest and most exclusive publisher of C-1 Level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Partner) from the world’s most respected companies and law firms."  To read Mr. Zambri’s publication, entitled "Constantly Preparing To Win", please click here.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.   

Categories: Public Health
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