Challenge to Maryland’s Cap on Non-Economic Damages

The Maryland Daily Record reports today that The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos intends to file an appeal in a Baltimore City medical malpractice case in which the Plaintiff’s $10.2 million jury verdict against University of Maryland Medical Center was capped at $632,500.00 because that is the limit on non-economic damages.

The Daily Record reports that the Plaintiff’s counsel intends to argue that: (1) the limitation on damages has not accomplished its purported legislative aim of reducing medical malpractice insurance rates for doctors; (2) the Maryland cap on non-economic damages is pre-empted by the ADA; (3) that it violates equal protection and due process; and (4) that it deprives the jury of the information necessary to make an informed decision.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Carol E. Smith denied Plaintiff’s motion to overturn the cap and reduced the Plaintiff’s verdict to his medical expenses and $620,000.00 in non-economic damages (the malpractice must have occurred between October 2002 and September 2003).

I’ve written here about 10,000 times that I think caps on damages are unjust. As a lawyer, I’m rooting for the Plaintiff to convince the legislature to overturn the cap. I think the result would be justice and a system where we do not discriminate against those that have been the most harmed.

That said, if I were on the Maryland Court of Appeals, I would find that the Maryland General Assembly made a law that it had every right to make when it instituted a cap. Because there is no law against dumb laws.

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