•  
  •  
 

Document Type

Article

Media Type

Text

Abstract

In the 1997 Illinois Supreme Court decision of Best v. Taylor Machine Works, the court held that caps on non-compensatory damages violated the Illinois Constitution. However, in light of the current health care insurance crisis, the court may have to reconsider this issue. This article re-crafts the decision, ultimately arguing that caps are constitutional. The intention of the article is three-fold. First, the article attempts to bring greater attention to a growing problem that requires immediate addressing, while advocating a direct and administratively simple solution. Second, the article seeks to provide a historical overview of caps on non-compensatory damages relating to personal injury and specifically, medical malpractice. Finally, the article provides the court with a legal framework for re-writing its decision to support a cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cause of actions. Part I of this article adumbrates the current state of the medical malpractice insurance crisis in Illinois and reasons why the cap is the most effective solution to control rising malpractice premiums, encouraging medical providers to practice in Illinois. Part I also focuses on the history of non-compensatory caps in Illinois, providing some insight into the 1976 decision of Wright v. Central Du Page Hospital Association, and detailing the facts of Best v. Taylor. Part I focuses on the court's reasoning in Best v. Taylor and sets forth a compelling argument for reversal. It not only addresses the court's arguments pertaining to the special legislation clause and the separation of powers clause, but it rebuts other arguments put forward by opponents of caps, pertaining to the right to a jury, equal protection, due process, and the right to a certain remedy under the Illinois Constitution. Part III concludes that the Illinois Supreme Court decision of Best v. Taylor was poorly reasoned and should be overturned, given that a cap on non-compensatory damages in medical malpractice actions can be supported by Illinois law and policy.

First Page

217

Last Page

241

Publication Date

5-1-2005

Department

Other

ISSN

0734-1490

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University Law Review

Included in

Law Commons

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.