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CHICAGO � An Illinois state court judge ruled Tuesday that a 2005 law that capped the damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases is illegal under the state’s Constitution. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Joan Larsen ruled that the law, which capped the non-economic damages at $500,000 in suing a doctor and $1 million for a private hospital, violated the Illinois Constitution’s separation of powers clause, which gives a jury the authority to set damages. She based her decision mainly on a 1997 Illinois Supreme Court ruling that came to the same conclusion about a 1995 Illinois statute. Best v. Taylor Machine Works, No. 81890-81893. The ruling allows the case, in which a mother is suing Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and a doctor and nurse over the delivery of her brain-damaged baby, to move forward without being subject to the limit stipulated by the state law. LeBron v. Gottlieb, No. 25399. Attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Litigation worked with Illinois trial lawyers to overturn the law. The Illinois State Medical Society, an affiliate of the medical insurer ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company, said in a release that it will continue to work with the defendants to fight the case before the Illinois Supreme Court.

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