Bloomberg Law
Jan. 26, 2023, 4:42 PM

Punitive Damages Unavailable in Florida Medical Negligence Suit

Mary Anne Pazanowski
Mary Anne Pazanowski
Legal Reporter

A Florida hospital won’t face a punitive damages claim in a medical malpractice wrongful death suit brought by the estate of a patient who allegedly died of fatal brain injuries caused by negligent intubation.

Evidence of post-injury conduct by officials at a facility operated by Cleveland Clinic Florida Health System can’t be used satisfy the heightened burden of proof necessary to claim punitive damages under state law, the Florida District Court of Appeals, Fourth District, said.

The opinion helps clarify Florida’s statutory punitive damages standards in the context of a vicarious liability claim. Such damages are intended to “send a ...

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