West Virginia Liability Cap under Fire from Supreme Court

The current West Virginia medical malpractice liability cap set in 2003 limits noneconomic damages to $250,000 in most cases and $500,000 in actions involving serious or traumatic injuries.

The current liability cap came under fire in April of this year when a case challenging the law's constitutionality came into light. The case in question came before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and involved a $1.6 million jury verdict in 2008 to James MacDonald and his wife. MacDonald was diagnosed with severe muscle damage following a pneumonia treatment at City Hospital in Martinsburg, WV.

MacDonald alleged the hospital and doctor put him on a drug regimen that worsened his prior kidney transplant and associated conditions, causing the muscle damage. The doctor and hospital both denied any negligence.

The Berkeley County trial court reduced the noneconomic portion of the award, $1.5 million, to the $500,000 cap and rejected arguments from the plaintiffs that the limit violated their jury trial and equal protection rights.

Following this case, the high court directly took up the MacDonald's appeal of the ruling, causing several members of the W. Virginia medical community to gear up for the legal battle.

Ben Glass Law provides updates on current news stories regarding liability caps as a service to our clients. We are active with Virginia medical malpractice liability cap cases and have been long involved in reforming their negative impact on deserving victims who have been shortchanged by their limitations. For help with your medical malpractice claims, contact us today - 703-591-9829.

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