South Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Two-Tiered Damages Cap

side note: Below is a South Carolina Supreme Court case that has implications that exceed the two motorcyclists injured. At the heart of this case is whether South Carolina’s two-tier statutory cap on damages is constitutional. Under the two-tier system, state-employed physicians and dentists are only liable for $1.2 per person and per occurrence; for all other state entities, the cap is $300,000 per person and $600,000 per occurrence. The South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the two-tier system, which it had already done in three prior cases. The court has repeatedly affirmed the South Carolina General Assembly’s judgment in support of the caps, arguing that the caps are justifiable in such that they relieve the government from the hardships of unlimited liability and furthering accountable and competent healthcare while promoting affordable medical liability insurance.

South Carolina’s two-tier statutory cap on damages is constitutional, the state Supreme Court has ruled. In the same ruling, however, the court found that two separate governmental entities’ negligent acts, which resulted in severe injuries to the plaintiffs, constituted two occurrences, not just one, under the state’s Tort Claims Act.

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