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Illinois’ medical malpractice law on trial

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 18, 2008

A lawsuit testing the constitutionality of Illinois' medical malpractice reforms is expected to come before the state's Supreme Court this fall. State Sen. Bill Haine was one of the leaders in a long bipartisan effort to draft the legislation, which was approved after dozens of doctors retired or relocated due to spiraling malpractice insurance premiums. The state law shaped by Haine and other legislators was enacted in 2005. It limits medical malpractice awards for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering to $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals. The law does not, however, limit compensation for economic damages, such as the cost of medical care and lost wages.