Supreme Court Upholds Medical-Malpractice Reform

The Nevada Supreme Court has now reinforced the Legislature’s intent to limit recovery for medical malpractice damages to $350,000 and keep quality affordable healthcare in Nevada. In Tam v. Dist. Ct., 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 80 (2015) the Supreme Court evaluated various challenges to NRS 41A. $350,000 limit on noneconomic damages that a plaintiff can recover in a professional negligence action. The Court also addressed issues of whether it could apply to multiple plaintiffs and defendants in the same matter and if the statute violated the Equal Protection Clause.

By carefully examining the Nevada legislature’s intent when drafting the statute, the Court determined that not only did the statute not violate any Equal Protection claims, but that it was the intent that the statutory cap be made to limit damages so that Nevadans could have access to quality affordable healthcare by keeping professional negligence claim payouts to a reasonable, yet fair, amount. In doing so, the Court also stated that this statute expressly limits the cap of any given action, “regardless of the number of plaintiffs, defendants or theories upon which liability may be based.”

Las Vegas shareholder CHRIS CURTIS has tried multiple medical malpractice cases to verdict and supported the Court’s interpretation. “By maintaining the intent behind the statute, the Nevada Supreme Court was able to reaffirm an aspect of fairness towards healthcare providers that will both provide for claimants that are wrongfully injured, and limit the recovery they can be awarded to keep adequate and affordable healthcare in the State of Nevada for years to come.”