A report for Pew Charitable Trusts suggests that caps on noneconomic damages -- a key legislative goal of many state medical societies and the American Medical Association -- are unfair to plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases. The report, scheduled for release today, is part of a two-year project on medical liability in Pennsylvania funded by Pew. It comes just days after the state House of Representatives passed a measure to amend the state constitution to permit a cap on damages. Last week, another Pew study found that Pennsylvania's medical malpractice insurance troubles are among the worst nationwide. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Medical Society released a report indicating that medical malpractice costs are triggering an exodus of doctors. Philadelphia lost approximately 450 physicians from 1997 to 2002. During the same period, the state as a whole lost about 600 general surgeons, 145 orthopedic surgeons and 35 neurosurgeons, the society said. More information on the Pew reports is available at the foundation's Web site. -- by Michael Romano
Pew report criticizes caps on damages as unfair
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