Illinois medical malpractice opinion expected Feb. 4

By Ann Knef | Feb 2, 2010

The Illinois Supreme Court is expected to file its opinion Thursday on the constitutionality of the state's medical malpractice reform law.

A ruling had been expected in December regarding a challenge to the Illinois Medical Malpractice Act of 2005 -- a law that caps non-economic damages to $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals.

Passed by a Democratic state legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the law limits non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. It does not limit actual damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

In 2008, Illinois Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in a case arising out of Cook County, LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, involving the severe disability of a young girl, Abigaile Lebron.

Cook County Circuit Judge Joan Larsen ruled that caps are unconstitutional in LeBron in 2007.

The Illinois Supreme Court had indicated LeBron would be filed in December, but later withdrew it from the list of opinions released.

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