Dissent Slams West Virginia Med Mal Damage Cap Ruling

July 25, 2011

A judge who helped West Virginia’s Supreme Court hear a recent medical malpractice case is blasting the outcome.

First Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson dissented sharply Friday with last month’s ruling that upholds limits on jury verdicts.

When adjusted for inflation, the cap is around $288,527 for most malpractice cases. It increases to $577,054 in more serious cases, including those involving death.

The limit applies to non-economic damages. These are meant to compensate for such things as pain and suffering.

Wilson wrote that those damages can also cover the loss of the ability to have children, disfigurement or the loss of a limb.

He calls the cap unconstitutional. The dissent said that the courts should instead be protecting malpractice victims as well as doctors who are overcharged by insurance companies.

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