Missouri House Panel Considers Medical Liability Limits

February 15, 2013

Missouri health care providers are urging lawmakers to reinstate liability limits for medical malpractice cases after the state Supreme Court struck down the existing cap.

A 2005 law had capped noneconomic damages at $350,000 and was part of a broader effort to curb liability lawsuits. The Supreme Court ruled this past summer that the cap was unconstitutional.

Several doctors testified before a state House committee Wednesday. They say the cap helped Missouri’s medical community.

Supporters of limiting noneconomic damages contend it reduces health care costs and helps to keep doctors in Missouri. Opponents say there is a fundamental constitutional right to a jury trial.

Lawmakers have proposed a measure that would rearrange the underpinning for medical practice cases in hopes of bypassing concern about constitutionality.

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