Articles Tagged with Pain And Suffering Caps

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New-York-State-Supreme-Court-300x192It is widely believed that state courts are drowning in lawsuits. Many corporate lobbyists would have you believe that tort lawsuits are on the rise, when in fact the opposite is true: tort lawsuits have declined sharply in recent years.

In 2015, less than two people out of 1,000 filed tort lawsuits, and tort cases accounted for just four percent of civil filings in state courts. Compare this to 1993, when roughly 10 people per 1,000 filed tort lawsuits and tort cases made up 16 percent of those filed. This downward trend has raised some concern among judges. If victims are no longer filing tort lawsuits, perhaps they no longer see the courts as a legitimate avenue for finding justice in civil cases.

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0515-Jeb-Columba-300x200Susan Kalitan was undergoing carpal tunnel surgery in a Florida hospital when the anesthesia tube administered by her doctor punctured her esophagus. Susan awoke after the surgery and immediately told her doctors that she was experiencing severe pain in her back and chest, but they dismissed her complaints. The doctors gave Susan pain medication and sent her home.

The following day, a neighbor found Susan unconscious in her home. Susan was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery and was put in a medically induced coma for several weeks. The treatment saved Susan’s life, but to this day she experiences significant pain and struggles to live a normal life.

Susan filed a lawsuit against the North Broward Hospital District and other liable parties in 2008. She was awarded $4 million in non-economic damages. However, when it came time for Susan to receive her compensation, it was reduced to a fraction of the original number.

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Pastor Brian Williams

Pastor Brian Williams

Pastor Brian Williams’ pattern of sexual violence against teenage girls was glaring to anyone that knew the facts.

When the mother of teenager April Jokela complained that the Ohio pastor had attempted to reach his hand into April’s pants in the early 1990s, church officials asked her to “keep this quiet to protect our brother.”

When another teenager came forward in the early 2000s to report that Pastor Williams told her “he could probably get away with having sex with me right then and there in his office,” she too was ignored.
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minick-25-900-600-9efcd4Workers’ compensation programs were adopted in the US roughly a hundred years ago to protect employees injured in the workplace. These programs were designed to minimize unnecessary litigation, guaranteeing injured workers medical coverage regardless of fault, and in exchange, limiting employers’ losses to certain standards for lost wages, medical treatment, and rehabilitation services. Now, a Texas lawyer is working to reverse a century of progress by dismantling the workers’ compensation system.
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Kevin-Barr-200x300Lake Forest, CA teenager Kevin Barr hasn’t had it easy. Kevin was born 25 weeks premature, and suffered throughout his life from a seizure disorder as well as cerebral palsy.

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Over the last few years, tort reform advocates across the country have successfully achieved statewide legislative “caps” on pain and suffering awards. The idea of pain and suffering caps sprang from business and medical organizations that lobbied their local representatives to limit the recovery possible for a person injured through the fault of another.

Implicit in pain and suffering caps is a distrust of the jurors that decide on the amount of compensation owed by liable parties in each case, as well as a distrust of the trial judges that review jury awards, and the appellate courts that review the judges’ decisions. The State of Wisconsin has such a cap that limits the pain and suffering compensation that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases to $750,000. However, in the case of Ascaris Mayo, this amount was far from sufficient.

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