Nestlehutt v. Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery: Caps on Damages Violate Your Constitutional Right to a Jury Trial

The Supreme Court of Georgia will soon rule on this issue, i.e., whether the Georgia Legislature’s imposition of an arbitrary cap of $350,000.00 on damages in medical malpractice cases violates the 7th Amendment Right to a Jury Trial under the United States and Georgia Constitutions. The case pending before the Georgia Supreme Court right now on this issue is Nestlehutt v. Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C., d/b/a Oculus. I have filed an Amicus Brief with the Georgia Supreme Court in support of Mrs. Nestlehutt and in support of the position that such arbitrary caps on damages do, indeed, violate your 7th Amendment right to a jury trial. The Nestlehutt case involved cosmetic surgery that disfigured Mrs. Nestlehutt permanently. A Fulton County, Georgia jury, who heard all the facts and considered all the evidence in the case, returned a verdict for Mrs. Nestlehutt and her husband in the amount of $1.2 Million. Under the caps law, this would have been written down to $350,000.00; however, the trial judge found the caps law to be unconstitutional. And so, Oculus appealed that outcome to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Other media have referred to this case simply as a “botched facelift” case. This does not, however, adequately portray the injury Mrs. Nestlehutt sustained and the horrible pain and suffering she has endured since that careless surgery. Below is a video that shows the after-surgery photographs of Mrs. Nestlehutt so that NO GEORGIAN thinks this is simply a “botched facelift” where the patient simply doesn’t think she looks as good afterward as she should. It was a horriffic injury and after watching the video below, I think you will agree that the original jury’s award of $1.2 Million was proper. Thanks to her attorney, Adam Malone, for sharing this powerful video with me. I want all Georgians to watch it. Thanks to Mrs. Nestlehutt in having the courage to share it and the courage to fight this battle.

WE THE PEOPLE from Georgia Justice on Vimeo.