Texas noneconomic damage cap ruled constitutional

Posted April 9, 2012

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A federal judge in March upheld Texas’ cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases. U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s ruling stated that “all claims by plaintiffs in this matter are denied,” dismissing arguments that the cap unconstitutionally took private property and barred access to the courts.

Texas law caps noneconomic damages in any given lawsuit to $250,000 for physicians, another $250,000 for a hospital and another $250,000 for any unrelated hospital or health facility found liable for damages.

Supporters of the law, including the Texas Medical Assn., say it has brought physicians to the state and increased access to care. Since the cap was enshrined in the state constitution in 2003, medical liability insurance rates have fallen by half, according to the Texas Alliance for Patient Access, a coalition of physicians, insurers, hospitals and nursing homes that supports the law.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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