After a four-year legal battle involving ten medical malpractice victims, United States District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of Marshall decided that the Texas medical malpractice cap on non-economic damages is constitutional.
In 2003, the Texas lawmakers created legislation that limited medical malpractice victims from collecting more than $250,000 in non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. Later, Texas voters backed the med mal caps.
In 2008, a group of ten medical error victims, including the family of late Dallas Cowboy football player Ron Springs, filed a lawsuit stating that medical malpractice cap was unconstitutional. According to the plaintiffs, the law violated the Fifth Amendment – which is against the state taking private property – and the Fourteenth Amendment, which deals with issues of due process.
While some, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, applauded the decision, saying it was pro-business, others, including many Dallas medical malpractice attorneys spoke out saying that the caps prevented hospital error victims from getting the compensation that they deserved and that is awarded to them by juries.
The issue of whether or not medical malpractice caps are constitutional is an ongoing issue in several states across the country.
Currently, there are no Texas medical malpractice caps on economic damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, or future medical costs.