Liability cap disappears for OHSU

The state Court of Appeals has ruled that a state liability cap doesn't exactly apply, in the case of a boy who was permanently brain-damaged by employees at OHSU:

A state law limits jury awards against public agencies such as OHSU -- in this case $100,000 in general damages and $100,000 in special damages.

But the Court of Appeals ruled that while such limits protect public agencies, they do not protect the public employees of those agencies. If they did, the court ruled, the limits would violate an injured person's constitutional right to seek a full remedy from negligent public employees.

And because state law requires government agencies to pay awards against their employees, the ruling effectively eliminates the cap protecting public agencies.

This issue is also being discussed over at Jack Bog's Blog. As one commenter, Dave J, puts it:

Has anyone from OHSU ever answered the question "How can you justify paying $200,000 to a kid whose medical injuries, which are indisputably your fault, will cost $11,000,000 over the cost of his life?" Leave all the conservative rhetoric about escalating malpractice insurance aside, and answer this particular question. Nobody disputes that their negligence caused his impairment, and nobody disputes that this impairment is costly. Can anyone justify why it's fair to pay him 1/50th of what he'll need over the course of his life??


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