The Iowa State Bar Association opposes arbitrary caps on damages that can be awarded to an injured citizen, and as such opposes recently introduced bills SSB 3085 and HSB 596.
This legislation creates a cap of $250,000 on “non-economic damages” against a healthcare provider that is both arbitrary and punitive. A young child who is the victim of medical malpractice with an 80-year life expectancy will be limited to a $250,000 recovery. An 80-year-old with a five-or-six-year life expectancy would potentially be receiving the same amount in damages.
The ISBA has opposed caps on recovery consistently since 1975, because of the belief that every Iowa citizen should have an opportunity to have his or her case decided on its own merits. If damages are to be awarded, a jury of the parties’ peers should determine an appropriate award, based upon the actual facts of the case.