Ad damnum: The plaintiff’s hope

By Melissa Young

If it seems that plaintiffs are seeking more and more in damages in medical liability lawsuits, they probably are. The big dollar damage figures contained in the plaintiff’s initial court paperwork are called the “ad damnum” clause, from the Latin meaning literally “to the damage.” These sometimes shocking figures on the last pages of a complaint are the plaintiff’s notification to the defendant of the damages being claimed.

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