Illinois News

Il. Legislature caps medical malpractice awards

The Legislature capped Illinois Medical malpractice awards in a heated debate over constitutional questions.

Gov. Blagojevich says he will sign the initiative. Passing the House 68-46 and the Senate 36-22, the medical malpractice plan would prevent victims making claims over medical mistakes from collecting more than $500,000 from individual doctors and $1 million from hospitals for pain-and-suffering damages.

Opponents of the medical malpractice caps believe victims' rights have been limited instead of focusing on correcting medical mistakes. Twice before the Illinois Supreme Court threw out caps on lawsuit awards. Critics believed the bill would have the same fate as in the past.

Referred to as unconstitutional and discriminating against the poor, minorities, the elderly and women by putting arbitrary values on pain and suffering, the medical malpractice plan is likely to bring much more criticism now that it has been okayed by the Legislature.

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