LDM Partners Successfully Defend Medical Malpractice Damages Cap

LDM partners Bill Lamson, Bill Settles, and Jason Grams recently won an important victory for health care providers in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The case involved a claim of medical malpractice made against a midwife and local hospital by the parents of a neurologically injured child.  After a jury verdict of $17 million, the trial court reduced the verdict to $1,750,000 pursuant to Nebraska’s statutory damages cap in medical malpractice cases.  The parents appealed, arguing that Nebraska’s damages cap violates the 7th Amendment’s right to jury trial, the 5th Amendment’s takings clause, and the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process.  Partners Lamson, Settles, and Grams were appointed Special Assistant Attorneys General to defend the constitutionality of the statute on behalf of the State of Nebraska.  A unanimous panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected each of the parents’ arguments, and held that Nebraska’s medical malpractice damages cap does not violate the United States Constitution.  LDM congratulates all who contributed to this very important result, which assures that health care in Nebraska will remain available and affordable for the foreseeable future.