Missouri House Approves Bill Reinstating Medical Malpractice Caps
April 23, 2013
In March, the Missouri House of Representatives advanced a bill that called for the reinstatement of laws upholding caps on awards given in Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.
According to St. Louis Public Radio, the state legislature adopted a limit of $350,000 in 2005 on awards for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, that are given to victims of negligent medical staff. Then, last year, the state Supreme Court ruled to do away with the limitations.
Now, a state representative has introduced and received initial approval of a bill that would call for the limits to be brought back. Rep. Eric Burleson, the bill’s sponsor, claims re-adopting the limits will cut healthcare citizen healthcare bills by limiting physician liability costs, which in turn, attracts doctors to open practices in the state. He went on to claim the number of doctor’s in the state decreased after the medical malpractice caps were eliminated last year.
Opponents argued if the bill were enacted, it would take away a victim’s ability to receive fair compensation for their losses.
The bill now goes before the Senate for approval.
The Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys with CofmanTownsley point out data presented at congressional hearings has shown, the five states with the highest medical malpractice insurance premium rates also had damage caps in place. Furthermore, the state with the lowest premium rates has no caps in place, while medical malpractice payouts have also decreased in the state by more than 16 percent.