Estate of McCall v. United StatesAnnotate this Case
Michelle McCall received prenatal medical care at a United States Air Force clinic as an Air Force dependent. McCall died after delivering her son as a result of severe blood loss. Petitioners filed an action against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The federal district court found the United States liable under the FTCA. The court concluded that Petitioners’ economic damages amounted to $980,462 and Petitioners’ noneconomic damages totaled $2 million. However, the district court limited Petitioners’ recovery of wrongful death noneconomic damages to $1 million after applying Fla. Stat. 766.118, Florida’s statutory cap on wrongful death noneconomic damages based on medical malpractice claims. The district court subsequently denied Petitioners’ motion challenging the constitutionality of the wrongful death statutory cap. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the application of the statutory cap on noneconomic damages and held that the statute was not unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court accepted certification to answer questions of Florida law and answered by holding the statutory cap on wrongful death noneconomic damages provided in Fla. Stat. 766.118 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution.