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The Associated Press reports that a Louisiana Appeals Court has observed the obvious – a $500,000 cap on medical malpractice damages established in 1975 has been impacted by inflation in the intervening years. In 2006, the cap is actually worth only $160,000 which, by the way, the Court feels no longer is fair.

Maybe we should ask the Louisiana Court to do some calculating on the Florida cap on damages in claims against governmental entities. For the past 20 to 30 years it has remained at $100,000 per person (with the supposed right to go to the Florida Legislature with a claims bill for approval of a higher sum). My rough calculation would put the present value at about $35,000. In just a few more years victims of governmental misconduct in Florida might as well pay the government for the experience.

Appeal court says Louisiana’s $500,000 malpractice cap too low

Louisiana’s $500,000 cap on medical malpractice damages, set in 1975, is unconstitutional because it no longer provides an adequate remedy to patients, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles has ruled in a 3-2 decision.

A $500,000 award would be worth about $160,000 today, the opinion, issued Wednesday, said. The court said evidence indicates the cap would have to be raised to $1.6 million or $1.7 million to provide the same protection as it did 31 years ago.

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