Illinois' high court rules against medical malpractice caps

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An Illinois Supreme Court ruling on medical malpractice caps could have national implications. It found that caps on damages are unconstitutional.

The ruling, which came down earlier this month, struck down a 2005 medical malpractice law that limited monetary damages to $1 million from hospitals and $500,000 from doctors for pain and suffering. Other states have similar laws. Courts in 16 states have upheld the laws, while those in 11 states have overturned them, according to the American Medical Association.

The case comes as federal lawmakers are taking a new look at malpractice awards. Republicans generally are in favor of the caps; Democrats are not. President Obama has expressed interest in exploring tort reform options.