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Woman fights to retain full jury award in malpractice case

When pursuing claims of medical malpractice in Kew Gardens, many are surprised to discover that state laws often put a cap on the amount of damages that one may receive. Typically, such caps are imposed on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering because such things may be difficult to quantify. Some may argue, however, that such caps imply that the emotional trauma one may experience for a minor issue is equal to that one is forced to endure after a major health crisis or complication.

That is the argument being made by the attorneys for a North Dakota woman who is fighting to try and keep the $1.5 million in non-economic damages she was awarded in her medical malpractice lawsuit. The defendants in her case have petitioned the court to reduce the award to $500,000, which is the cap that state puts on non-economic damages. Their representatives cite the need for such caps in order to keep the costs of malpractice insurance low and by not making insurers subject to arbitrary jury rulings.

The woman’s representation counters such an assertion, saying that large settlements are rare, and that to impose a cap on the woman’s jury award unfairly discriminates against her by not allowing her to receive the full-measure of non-economic damages she suffered after her surgeon caused her to experience a debilitating stroke by accidently cutting her innominate artery during a lymph node biopsy.

Those who suffer due to the negligence of a doctor may justly feel as though their compensation should be related to the extent of pain they were made to endure. Anyone attempting to make such an argument may want to have an attorney on his or her side while doing so.

Source: Bismark Tribune “Cap on damages challenged in St. A’s malpractice case” Grueskin, Caroline, June 20, 2017

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