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Court reinstates $10.3M medical malpractice award without ruling on reform law

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West Palm Beach, FLThe 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a woman merited the $10.3 million a jury awarded her after losing her husband to a medical error.

The ruling stated that Nadine Raphael should receive the money for the pain and suffering she experienced after her husband died for reportedly not getting proper treatment at the Palms West Medical Center in 2003.

However, the court did not rule on a 2003 law that restricts the amount of money that a jury can award a plaintiff in medical malpractice lawsuits, reports the Palm Beach Post.

"We won the war," Ralphael's attorney Stephen Malove told the newspaper.

The judge cited legal precedent in not applying laws retroactively in determining that Raphael should still receive the jury-mandated award.

Although laws like those passed in Florida to limit the financial risks for doctors in medical malpractice suits have been discussed in the national healthcare reform debate as a means to limit costs, the New York Times reports that malpractice costs represent a small expense in the healthcare system and that there are more medical errors in the U.S. than in other developed countries.ADNFCR-2533-ID-19378198-ADNFCR


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