West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Menis Ketchum on Monday reversed course and decided to recuse himself in a pending case on damage caps in malpractice cases, an issue on which he had taken a stand during his election campaign. “Upon further reflection I am disqualifying myself” from the case MacDonald v. City Hospital, Ketchum wrote in a memorandum released by the clerk of the court.
We reported on Ketchum’s initial refusal to recuse here on Friday. The issue in the case is the constitutionality of the state Medical Professional Liability Act, which limits non-economic damages to $500,000. The plaintiffs lawyer Robert Peck of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Litigation filed a motion for recusal last week after reading local West Virginia media reports that during the 2008 election, Ketchum had said of the law, “I will not vote to overturn it. I will not vote to change it. I will not vote to modify it.”
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