N.D. law limiting damages in malpractice cases ruled unconstitutional
A judge has found a North Dakota law limiting damages in medical malpractice cases to be unconstitutional. In a case involving a woman who was disabled due to a surgery at CHI St. Alexius Health, South Central Judicial District Judge Cynthia Feland denied a motion from the hospital to reduce a jury’s verdict. A jury last April awarded Chenille Condon, 35, of Fort Yates, $3.5 million after finding cardiac and thoracic surgeon Dr. Allen Michael Booth negligently performed a surgery on Condon that caused a serious stroke in 2012.
Wisconsin's cap on medical malpractice awards unconstitutional, court rules
Ruling that Wisconsin's $750,000 cap on medical malpractice claims is unconstitutional, an appellate court said Wednesday that a Milwaukee woman who lost all four limbs should collect the $16.5 million for pain and suffering awarded to her and her husband.
"We conclude that the statutory cap on non-economic damages is unconstitutional on its face," Judge Joan Kessler wrote in the 19-page unanimous opinion by the three-judge First District Court of Appeals panel.Read more
Citizen-Led Efforts to Reform Redistricting
In just a few years, voting districts will be redrawn across the country. Advocacy and grassroots groups in a number of states are busy drafting ballot proposals and launching campaigns that support legislation aimed at curbing gerrymandering. Grassroots and advocacy groups in a number of states are busy drafting ballot proposals and launching campaigns that support legislation aimed at curbing gerrymandering – the manipulation of voting districts to favor or disfavor one group of voters over another or to protect incumbents. Since 2000, similar grassroots efforts led to the successful implementation of independent commissions in Arizona and California.Read more
Malpractice damage caps struck down by Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a law limiting pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases is unconstitutional, rejecting a controversial change that the Legislature and then-Gov. Jeb Bush approved in 2003. Justices were sharply divided, with the four-member majority finding that the caps on “non-economic” damages violated equal-protection rights.Read more
The State of Redistricting Litigation
At the start of 2018, redistricting litigation remains pending in eight states – including three cases currently on appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court and several lawsuits that could alter state legislative and congressional boundaries before the 2018 elections.Read more
Americans for Insurance Reform Issues Two New Studies On Medical Malpractice Insurance
Americans for Insurance Reform (AIR), a coalition of nearly 100 consumer and public interest groups representing more than 50 million people, today published two major new studies of the medical malpractice insurance industry. Stable Losses/Unstable Rates 2016 finds that medical malpractice premiums and claims per doctor are currently at their lowest level since data were first recorded four decades ago. Premium Deceit 2016: The Failure of “Tort Reform to Cut Insurance Prices, finds that state limits on patients’ legal rights have no impact whatsoever on insurance rates for doctors.Read more
Pennsylvania Congressional District Map Is Ruled Unconstitutional
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s congressional map, which is gerrymandered such that Republicans control 13 of 18 seats despite registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans in the Keystone State. The state leadership has weeks to make a new map.Read more
What’s Next for Judicial Selection Reform in North Carolina?
Opinion pieces in the Richmond County Daily Journal and the Greensboro News & Record agree that partisan politics was driving a new law that introduced a retention election option for elected state Supreme Court justices seeking a new term. A Superior Court panel recently struck down that law (see Gavel Grab).Read more
TV Advertising Ahead in Ohio Supreme Court Primary
Residents of Cleveland, Ohio soon will see TV ads in the GOP primary for the Ohio Supreme Court. Court of Appeals Judge Pat Fischer’s campaign has signed contracts for at least $54,470 in TV advertising, Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice said on Thursday.Read more
TV Spending in Arkansas Court Race Soars to Nearly $1.3 Million
Total spending on TV ad contracts in Arkansas’ Supreme Court race has risen further into unprecedented territory, with two national interest groups and three out of four candidates airing ads, according to Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.Read more