Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Maryland?
Yes. Like a number of states,
Maryland has passed a law that places a limit or "cap" on certain kinds of
damages (compensation) that are available to a plaintiff who has been
successful in a medical
malpractice lawsuit. Currently, Maryland has a cap on non-economic
damages in any malpractice claim arising from the same medical
injury, regardless of how many defendants there are.
For 2016, the cap was $770,000. By law, since 2009, Maryland’s medical malpractice damages cap is set to increase by $15,000 each year. So (assuming no other legislative changes), for 2017 the cap is $785,000, for 2018 it will be $800,000, then $815,000 for 2019, and so on.
So, what are non-economic
damages in a medical malpractice case? It is a category of damages that
includes compensation for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, anxiety, loss of
enjoyment of life, scarring, and other negative effects of the medical negligence.
These kinds of damages aren’t easily captured by a dollar figure, and they are
more subjective from plaintiff to plaintiff.
It’s important to note that Maryland's damages cap has no effect on the other main category of damages available to a med mal
plaintiff: economic damages. Those include compensation for past medical
expenses, payment for ongoing medical care, reimbursement for lost income, and
compensation for any harm to the plaintiff’s ability to earn a living. Maryland
has no cap for these kinds of damages
in a medical malpractice case.
by: David Goguen, J.D.