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New Mexico court upholds damages cap in medical malpractice

March 15, 2021 GMT

New Mexico’s highest court has ruled that monetary limits on some types of damages due to medical malpractice are not unconstitutional.

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld the Medical Malpractice Act, which maintains non-medical and non-punitive damages at $600,000. The limit does not extend to punitive damages and compensation for medical and rehabilitative care.

The five-member panel argue that a cap on some damages will just be a legal consequence when juries determine amounts to award.

The decision reverses a 2018 ruling made by the Bernalillo County District Court, which declared such caps unconstitutional.

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In that case, a woman was awarded $2.6 million in damages in her lawsuit against an Albuquerque doctor and health provider over a botched gynecological procedure. The provider requested a cap on certain damages be applied.