It has been reported that the Florida Supreme Court will determine if legislature ratified in 2003, placing a cap on settlement amounts for medical malpractice lawsuits, is constitutional. The cap was enacted in response to alleged concerns over insurance markets which covered medical malpractice claims. Reportedly, due to the high volume of lawsuits being filed, fewer insurers were offering affordable coverage. Medical professionals claimed the rising cost of the insurance caused them to re-evaluate their capability of caring for patients, particularly those considered to be high risk, and requiring specialized care.
According to one Justice, when the legislature went into effect, it was to address the immediate threat of rising costs associated with medical malpractice insurance. Allegedly, it is being argued that while the initial intent was to avert an immediate crisis, it was not designed to violate a victim's constitutional right to adequate compensation. According to a state spokesman, the lawmakers had hoped to create an economically sound market for future medical malpractice insurance establishments. Reportedly, there are concerns that if the current legislature on medical malpractice caps is overturned, Florida would eventually find itself back in the same crisis.
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