Medical Malpractice

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A task force appointed by Governor Jeb Bush says jury awards above compensation for economic losses in medical malpractice cases should be capped at $250,000.

The task force has voted to include a recommendation for the cap on non-economic damages when it presents its final report to the governor. Those non-economic damages would include punitive and pain-and-suffering awards.

Doctors and insurance companies say such jury awards have escalated out of control and are driving insurance rates out of the reach of many doctors. They say doctors have abandoned certain procedures and, in some cases, elected to close up shop altogether.

The panel has made it clear it believes, as Bush does, the way to stem the rising cost of malpractice insurance is through caps on damages.