Medical Malpractice Tort Reform: Analysis of the Medical Malpractice Crisis and Florida’s Legislative Solution


The medical malpractice insurance system experienced a period of crisis in the early 1970s. High jury awards and an increased amount of litigation were cited as causing a substantial increase in malpractice premiums. These premiums covered doctors for claims arising from their treatment of patients. As a result, physicians were unable to afford the high price of premiums and many insurers discontinued malpractice insurance.

After years of stability, the medical malpractice crisis has resurfaced. In an effort to reduce malpractice premiums, many states implemented legislative tort reform acts. The majority of these acts included caps on noneconomic damages. These caps place a limit on the amount of money an injured person can receive for pain and suffering as the result of medical malpractice. Tort reform bills, which include these caps, created controversy in the court system. Lawyers argue that these caps violate an injured person's constitutional rights, but the legislature believes that they are necessary to ensure access to health care.

The Florida legislature recently passed a Medical Liability Bill in an attempt to alleviate the crisis. The bill includes a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages. My research was designed to analyze the current malpractice crisis, review Florida's Medical Liability Bill, and examine the effect of damage caps on medical liability litigation. The purpose is to evaluate the effects of current tort reform legislation, assess the constitutionality of damage caps, and propose solutions to the medical malpractice crisis.


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Thesis Completion





Slaughter, David B.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Legal Studies


Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences; Physicians -- Malpractice -- Florida







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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