Federal Judge Rules Texas' Pain and Suffering Cap Constitutional
U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has denied a motion by 10 plaintiffs, including the family of late Dallas Cowboy Ron Springs, that argued Texas' cap on non-economic damages was unconstitutional, according to a news release by the Texas Alliance for Patient Access, which supports the cap.
Texas lawmakers instituted a cap, which varies from $250,000 to $750,000, in 2003 for pain and suffering damages awarded to plaintiffs of medical malpractice cases. Past, present and future medical costs as well as lost wages remain uncapped. Texas voters later affirmed the caps, according to the release.
"We're pleased with the court's decision in this case because it upholds one of the key 2003 medical liability reforms that has improved access to health care in Texas," said Dan Stultz, MD, president and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association. "Since implementation of these reforms hospitals have invested savings from reduced liability insurance coverage back into hospital operations, including new technology that saves lives and improves patient safety. Hospitals also have been able attract new physicians to their community and offer new or expanded services to patients."
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