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Supreme Court Declares Florida’s Medical Malpractice Caps Unconstitutional

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury News and Safety Resources

I am a Florida medical malpractice lawyer who helps patients and their families when one of them has been injured or killed by careless doctors and hospitals. For most of my legal career, I have been unable to get victims full justice for their pain and suffering. Since 2003, Florida’s healthcare industry has slept soundly, knowing that regardless of what verdict a jury may return against them, they would be insulated by Florida Statute §766.118 and thereby would not be held fully accountable to pay any amount in excess of $500,000 for an injury, or $1,000,000 for the death of a patient, regardless of how many children or dependents were left behind.

Thankfully, all that has now changed. The Florida Supreme, after over a decade of challenges, has finally declared those caps unconstitutional. Their decision was based upon the case of Michelle McCall, who died after she bled to death following a caesarean section during the birth of her a son in February 2006 at a U.S. Air Force hospital in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

A United States federal judge agreed that McCall had not received proper care and found that her parents and son should receive $2 million for their pain and suffering. But then that verdict award was reduced to $1 million to comply with Florida’s damages cap. The verdict was challenged on appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta as violating the U.S. Constitution. The appellate court upheld the verdict, ruling that it did not violate the federal law, but suggested that the Florida Supreme Court should consider if it violated the state’s constitution.

For more than 10 years, I have sat across the table from grieving spouses and parents with fatherless children and explained how the medical malpractice caps along with a series of other legal protections created to protect the powerful and influential healthcare industry obstruct the path to justice of those who need help the most—the injured.

Us-pharmaceutical-industry-analysis

Protecting People from Dangerous Drugs

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Defective Drugs, Defective Products, Medical Malpractice

When it comes to potentially dangerous drugs–like testosterone replacement therapies—or cars, or even a light bulb, manufacturers always know more about the product’s risks than its consumer does. The law in our country that protects us from makers of those products–who put their profit ahead of the safety of people–is commonly referred to as strict liability.

STRICT LIABILITY LAW

The law of strict liability dates back hundreds of years, when people were found to be legally responsible for the damages they caused by conducting certain “inherently dangerous activities,” like transporting dynamite or keeping a tiger in their apartment. In those situations, to win their cases the plaintiffs or injured parties do not have to prove that the defendant was careless, but merely the extent of their injuries. That is a significantly easier case for a plaintiff. As the law has evolved, it has become one of the few remaining protections of the injured when a dangerous or defective product is sold that hurts or kills people.

Surgery Malpractice Lawyers Investigate Robotic Surgery Cases

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Defective Products, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury News and Safety Resources

Leer este artículo en Español.

The future is now for patients undergoing surgeries performed by robots. Robotic surgery has been around since 1998–when a German patient at the Leipzig Heart Center underwent minimally invasive surgery performed by a robot.

In robotic surgery, the robot’s movements are controlled remotely by a human surgeon who sits at a console that features a magnified 3D high-definition view of the surgical site.

According to the promoters of da Vinci, a robotic surgical system made by the American company Intuitive Surgical, the benefits for patients with robotic surgery include feeling less pain, experiencing shorter recovery time, and–depending on the operation–less blood loss, because apparently a robotic arm is more precise, has greater range of motion and, unlike a human hand, does not tremble.

So far, Intuitive Surgical has sold more than 2,500 surgery robots to hospitals all over the world and enjoyed revenues in excess of $2 billion last year alone. Since going public just 13 years ago at $9 a share, Intuitive’s stock price has soared above $500 a share, making its current market value over $20 billion.