The Georgia Supreme Court ruled with a 7-0 vote on Monday to overturn a state law that sets a $350,000 limit on jury awards for malpractice victims` pain and suffering, along with other non-economic damages. The ruling also set tougher standards for expert witnesses in malpractice trials and promotes incentives for patients to settle out of court.

Nathan Deal, Republican candidate for governor, said, `This ruling is a setback for the effort to reduce health care costs for Georgians.`

Deal added, `I will work with the General Assembly to develop a new version of tort reform legislation to address the issue of limiting the amount of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. This is important to all Georgians. Tort reform helps reduce the cost of health care to individuals and stops doctors from leaving our state, as they did prior to its passage.`

Coosa Valley News