The Illinois Supreme Court had not released its decision at deadline on a case that could overturn the state’s 2005 malpractice reform law that capped noneconomic damage awards at $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals. The court will not meet again until Jan. 11, 2010, and, while it could issue its opinion before then, that is unlikely. The court is debating the constitutionality of the caps as part of a consolidated case known as LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital; Alexander v. Nacopoulos et al.; and Zago v. Resurrection Medical Center, et al. The Illinois State Medical Society and the American Medical Association filed a joint amicus brief that argued the decision of a lower court, which overturned the law and called it unconstitutional, should be reversed. The brief stated that the Illinois Legislature crafted a rational solution to the state’s problem of doctors leaving Illinois to practice in states where medical liability rates were lower. Representatives from the Illinois State Bar Association and the 234-bed Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, which was purchased by the Loyola University Health System in 2008, were unavailable for comment at deadline.
Late News: Illinois Supreme Court yet to release malpractice decision
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