Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Malpractice Caps On Non-Economic Damages

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday struck down limits on jury awards in medical malpractice cases passed by the Legislature four years ago.  In essence, the Court ruled that caps on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are unconstitutional.  The caps were $500,000 per case for physicians and $1 million for hospitals.  In its ruling, the Court upheld a 2007 ruling by a Cook County trial court judge that the legislature’s caps on such damages violated the Illinois Constitution’s “separation of powers” clause, finding that legislators should not interfere with the right of juries to determine fair damages.