Constitutional Status of Reforms

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Alabama No information available

No information available


Ariz. Const. Art. II, sect. 31 prohibits any limitation on recovery of damages.

Comparative Fault and collateral source upheld.

Affidavit of merit upheld for other professions.

In September 2007, a judge ruled that the requirement that expert witnesses must practice in the same specialty is unconstitutional, since it treats medical liability cases differently than other liability cases. 

In March 2009, the state Supreme Court upheld the state's expert witness law, overturning a lower court ruling.

Arkansas 2005-State Supreme Court upheld two year statute of limitations in filing wrongful death claim. 2007-State Supreme Court ruled affidavit of merit law unconstitutional (Summerville vs. Thrower)
California 5th District Court of Appeals to hear Stinnett v. Tam, challenge to damage cap.
Colorado State Supreme Court upheld original noneconomic cap passed in 1988. (2004)
Connecticut No information available
Delaware Untested
Florida Challenge Anticipated. SB 1792, builds upon historic medical liability reforms that the FMA successfully championed in 2011, goes even further in helping physicians practice medicine by requiring an expert medical witness to be in the same specialty as the defendant physician. (2013)
Georgia 2010-The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the gross negligence standard in emergency care cases by a 4-3 vote in the case of Gliemmo v. Cousineau.  In a separate case, the court struck down the state's $350,000 cap on non-economic damages, ruling that the cap violates the right to trial by jury.
Hawaii No information available
Idaho Untested
Illinois In February 2010, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state's $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical liability cases was unconstitutional.  the cap had been implemented as part of a reform package in 2005.
Indiana (2011) State Court of Appeals scheduled (2011) State Court of Appeals scheduled to hear Plank v. Community Hospitals of Indiana, challenge to total cap.  The Indiana Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and is expected to render its verdict this year.  The current statutory cap is $1.25 million with $250,000 from the involved malpractice carrier and $1 million from the malpractice fund.  (2013) State Supreme Court throws out challenge to the cap in Plank v. Community Hospitals of Indiana, saying the challenge came to late, but not opining on the constitutionality of the cap. 
Iowa No information available
Kansas Cap being challenged in Miller v Johnson, decision expected in 2011.  In October 2012, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case, upholding a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages.
Kentucky No information available
Louisiana 2011- State Supreme Court vacated judgment of 3rd Circuit Ct of Appeals in Oliver V. Magnolia Clinic.  In the case involving NPs, the appeals court had ruled med mal cap unconstitutional for violating equal protection clause. The court remanded another constitutional challenge, Arrington v. Galen-Med, to a lower court in 2012 and cited its decision in Oliver.
Maine No information available
Maryland In April 2009 a Circuit Judge ruled that the cap on damages as written only applies to liability cases that have previously gone through the pre-trial arbitration process, which either side could waive.  In October 2010, the Court of Appeals of Maryland upheld the state's cap on noneconomic damages. (2013) Coleman v. Columbia Soccer Association in which the court declined to overturn the doctrine of contributory negligence standard, which prevents plaintiffs from collecting damages when their negligence contributed to their injury.
Massachusetts Untested
Michigan No information available
Minnesota No information available
Mississippi (2011) Two cases challenging damage cap could be heard by the State Supreme Court…Learmonth v. Sears and APAC v. Bryant.  (2013) Court of Appeals Upholds damage cap in Learmonth v. Sears.
Missouri State Supreme Court in 2010 rules that caps aren't retroactive to incidents occurring before the law was enacted in 2005 (Klotz v. Shapiro). In 2012, the MO Supreme Court ruled in Sanders v. Ahmed that the state's noneconomic damage cap for cases from before 2005 is constitutional. The $350K lower cap created in 2005 was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as of July 2012 in the case of Watts v. Cox.
Montana No information available
Nebraska In 2003, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the state’s cap on damages was constitutional.
Nevada (2011) Supreme Court asked by plaintiffs to review Villegas v. 8th Judicial District Court, challenging cap.
New Hampshire Untested
New Jersey Untested.  State Supreme Court upholds expert witness law requiring that experts be board certified in the specialty practiced by the defendant if the defendant is board certified (Nicholas v Mynster) (2013)
New Mexico No information available
New York No information available
North Carolina No information available
North Dakota No information available
Ohio Untested. In 1999, the state supreme court overturned a previous law that capped awards. In 2004, the court ruled that different family members cannot file separate suits against a provider for the same incident. In 2007, The court ruled that Ohio’s business non-economic damage cap and punitive damage cap are constitutional. The ruling does not apply to medical negligence claims, but sets a favorable precedent when medical liability caps are challenged.  In a 6-1 Ruther v. Kaiser ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed lower courts in upholding a four-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims that the General Assembly enacted in 2003. (2012)
Oklahoma Affidavit of Merit requirement ruled unconstitutional in 2006 by 8-1 vote.  The court ruled the law violated constitutional provisions against special laws, since it put medical liability cases in a separate class from other negligence claims. In 2011,(Wall v Marouk) the court again ruled against certificate of merits, saying it is a "special law" applying only to professional negligence cases, not all negligence cases generally and it creates "an undue financial barrier on access to the courts."
Oregon Current reforms untested. State Supreme Court overturned limit on noneconomic damages in 1999.
Pennsylvania Joint and several liability reform was overturned by Commonwealth Court, stating that the legislation was unconstitutional because it dealt with more than one subject area. (2005
Rhode Island No information available
South Carolina State Supreme Court ruling in May 2012 weakening the expert witness law.
South Dakota No information available
Tennessee No information available
Texas Constitutional amendment passed ensuring right of the legislature to cap noneconomic damages. (2003)
Utah State Supreme Court upheld the state’s $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages (2004)
Vermont No information available
Virginia Untested
Washington The state's certificate of merit law passed in 2006 was ruled unconstitutional in 2009 by the state Supreme Court, saying it violated separation of powers doctrine by having the legislature impose restrictions on court proceedings.
West Virginia (2011) WV Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of cap in McDonald v. City Hospital.
Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled that non-economic cap is unconstitutional (2005)
Wyoming Untested
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