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Statutory Cap on Wrongful Death Non-Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Statute is Found Unconstitutional by Florida Supreme Court

May 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Michelle McCall received prenatal medical care at a United States Air Force clinic. McCall died after delivering her son as a result of severe blood loss. Petitioners filed an action against the United States. The federal district court found the United States liable under the FTCA. The court concluded that Petitioners’ economic damages amounted to $980,462 and Petitioners’ non-economic damages totaled $2 million. However, the district court limited Petitioners’ recovery of wrongful death non-economic damages to $1 million after applying Fla. Stat. 766.118, Florida’s statutory cap on wrongful death non-economic damages based on medical malpractice claims.

The district court denied Petitioners’ motion challenging the constitutionality of the wrongful death statutory cap. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the application of the statutory cap on non-economic damages and held that the statute was not unconstitutional.

The Florida Supreme Court accepted certification to answer questions of Florida law and answered by holding the statutory cap on wrongful death non-economic damages provided in Fla. Stat. 766.118 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution. Estate of McCall v. United States, 134 So.3d 894 (Fla. 2014)


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