Georgia Supreme Court Strikes Down Caps on Non Economic Awards

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a unanimous Georgia Supreme Court on Monday struck down limits on jury awards in medical malpractice cases ruling that the $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages violates the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution, as the cap “clearly nullifies the jury’s findings of fact regarding damages and thereby undermines the jury’s basic function,” Chief Justice Carol Hunstein wrote for the court.

The AP reports that the ruling “will likely herald a flurry of new litigation, as the court said the ruling applied retroactively to all other pending medical-malpractice cases, including those that are now in the appeals process.” In the case before the court, Betsy Nestlehutt “was awarded $1.15 million in non-economic damages — including $900,000 in pain and suffering — by a Fulton County jury after she was permanently disfigured after a botched facelift.”


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