Subject Matter: Ga. Supreme Court declares caps on damage awards to be unconstitutional
The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday unanimously declared caps on damage awards for medical malpractice cases to be unconstitutional.
Writing for the court, Chief Justice Carol Hunstein found that the $350,000 cap imposed by the Legislature in 2005 violates the right to a jury trial as guaranteed under the Georgia Constitution.
The tort reform law "clearly nullifies the jury’s findings of fact regarding damages and thereby undermines the jury’s basic function," Hunstein wrote. "Consequently, we are compelled to conclude that the caps infringe on a party’s constitutional right."
The opinion added, "The very existence of the caps, in any amount, is violative of the right to trial by jury."
Firm/Company: State of Georgia
Document Date: March 22 2010
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