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Medical Malpractice Ruling Criticized

The father of a deceased 5-year old girl is questioning whether doctor accountability exists after a ruling was made on his medical malpractice misdiagnosis lawsuit. The 5-year old girl died in 1996 after her diabetes was misdiagnosed as an ear infection, upper respiratory problem and slight dehydration. Initially awarding $550,000 to the parents, a Washington County circuit judge reduced the award to $100,000 to comply with the financial caps set by the state Legislature limiting pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice cases to $350,000.

In response to the decision the father said limiting awards for a wrongful death sends the message to Wisconsin doctors that medical mistakes are nothing to be afraid of because of the lack of accountability for doctors that exist. The intent of the caps is to curtail huge medical malpractice damage awards and keep insurance costs down, but many people believe it is unjust. It has been argued that there is a lack of information showing the correlation between medical malpractice caps and lower health insurance costs. Some data has even shown it has zero effect on insurance costs.

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