Georgia tort reform — cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases
Senate Bill 3 caps noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases at $350,000 against any defendant. If there are two medical facilities and at least one additional health care provider held liable, then the cumulative cap may reach a maximum of $1,050,000. The cap applies to “damages for physical and emotional pain, discomfort, anxiety, hardship, distress, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind or nature.” It does not apply to medical and rehabilitation expenses, wages, earning capacity, income, funeral and burial expenses, or to the “value of services performed by the injured in the absence of the injury or death including those domestic and other necessary services performed without compensation.”
Thus, the “full value of the life” of a retiree would be essentially limited to $350,000. The value of the loss of an athlete’s leg, or emasculation of baby boy in a botched circumcision, both life-altering events with little monetary expense involved, is pretty well capped at $350,000 in medical malpractice cases.
Ken Shigley represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is President-Elect of the State Bar of Georgia (2011-12), a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks). He and Sally have been married since 1983, and are the proud parnts of two young adults, Anne Shigley and Ken Shigley, Jr.