While we believe that the following information regarding the medical malpractice laws in the various states of the United States was accurate when written, laws in various states do change over time and you should not rely on the information below but rather seek the advice of a knowledgeable and competent medical malpractice lawyer in your state regarding the current and relevant medical malpractice laws in your state. The information below is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
There is no limitation on economic damages but there is an overall cap of $350,000 for noneconomic damages unless there is a finding by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with reckless disregard for the rights of others, were grossly negligent, were fraudulent, were intentional, or were with malice. The statute of limitations is two years from reasonable discovery (for minors under 12, within seven years of injury; for minors over 12, one year after the 18th birthday but not less than two years from injury). There is modified joint and several liability (joint and several liability if the fault of the defendant is greater than 50% or the defendant acted with willful and wanton conduct or with reckless disregard of the consequences of the conduct). The attorney fees may not exceed 50% of the net judgment. There is no provision for periodic payments. There is the Health Care Indemnity Fund Task Force. There is no provision for an affidavit or certificate of merit. There is no provision for pre-trial alternative dispute resolution or screening panels. Experts must be qualified by the court based on training or experience relevant to the claim, including licensure and whether they are actively practicing or retired from practice.
In its opinion filed on April 23, 2019, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma (“Oklahoma Supreme Court”) held “the cap on actual noneconomic damages–is wrought with an irremediable constitutional infirmity: It is a special law categorically prohibited by Article 5, Section 46 of the Oklahoma Constitution. We hold that 23 O.S. Section 61.2(B)-(F) is unconstitutional in its entirety.”
In its decision dated October 24, 2017, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma (“Oklahoma Supreme Court”) held that “the thrice incarnated affidavit of merit requirement found in Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 19.1 (Supp. 2013)” with regard to Oklahoma medical malpractice cases is unconstitutional because it “is an impermissible barrier to court access and an unconstitutional special law.”