William Mitchell Law Review

Publication Information

31 William Mitchell Law Review 1031 (2004-2005)


This note explores the history behind the rising costs of medical malpractice insurance rates and the responsive state legislative proposals to limit noneconomic damages. The current state of health care liability and the recent federal proposals that include caps on noneconomic damages are then discussed. This note analyzes the reasons why the federal government should not cap noneconomic damages, primarily because: (1) states are better able to regulate health care, (2) noneconomic damages are not the determinate cause of rising medical malpractice insurance rates, and (3) caps infringe on equal protection guarantees by limiting compensation of medical malpractice victims. This note highlights the current state of health care liability in Minnesota and how the Minnesota legislature has dealt with rising medical malpractice insurance costs. Finally, this note concludes that noneconomic damage caps are not the panacea to the “medical liability crisis.” States should therefore continue to regulate the health care industry through other reform measures.