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Florida Fourth DCA vacates medical negligence arbitration award that included damages for loss of companionship and guidance as economic damages not subject to cap on non-economic damages

On April 4, 2018, in Plantation General Hospital Limited Partnership v. Division of Administrative Hearings, et al, No. 4D16-2652, the Florida Fourth DCA reversed an arbitration award of economic damages to the husband and child of a deceased patient for their loss of companionship and guidance. The Court concluded that such damages are non-economic damages subject to the cap of $250,000 per claimant per incident in arbitration proceedings. Since the arbitration award also included an award of the full $250,000 per claimant for non-economic damages (not including the claims for loss of companionship and guidance), the Court’s ruling resulted in a remand in which the arbitrators would be required to deduct the amount awarded for the loss of companionship and guidance from the total award.

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