Missouri Medical Malpractice Laws & Non-economic Damage Caps
It is important that Missouri residents understand state laws and how changes to these laws will impact them.
The past year has been tumultuous in the courts and in the Missouri legislature, which has been making numerous efforts to change legislation that deals with medical negligence in the state of Missouri. Recent changes to the laws will affect health care providers and any patients who have been injured or harmed by a health care provider’s negligent actions.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be brought against a doctor or other health care provider who deviates from the accepted standard of care when treating a patient, and as a result the patient suffers harm or injury. A patient would bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor in order to attempt to recover compensatory damages. Some common types of medical malpractice lawsuits include suits alleging medication errors or failure to diagnose an illness. There are many personal injury lawsuits filed every year but only a small percentage are medical malpractice cases. It has been estimated that up to 200,000 people die every year due to medical malpractice.
In 2005 laws were passed that capped noneconomic damages for victims of medical malpractice. But then in the summer of 2012 the Missouri Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that the caps were unconstitutional as they infringed upon a citizen’s right to trial by jury and they struck down the statutory cap on damages.
Meanwhile in October of 2012 the Kansas Supreme Court upheld its own $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases. The Kansas court decided a case wherein a woman had undergone a surgery and her doctor removed the wrong ovary. The jury had awarded the woman $575,000 in damages for pain and suffering, which the judge then had to reduce to $250,000 in accordance with the cap. The woman appealed the judge’s decision to the highest court. She made the argument that the caps were in violation of her constitutional right to a jury trial. Though this was the same argument made in the Missouri case, the Kansas court came to a different decision. Instead of finding the cap unconstitutional, the court deemed the cap acceptable and enforceable. While the majority opinion did uphold the cap, they did also request that the cap amount be increased.
In 2013 there were several proposals introduced during the Missouri legislative session that would reinstate the cap on noneconomic damages. Some legislators have been intent on making tort reform a priority issue. A House bill would have once again capped noneconomic damages at $350,000 but it did not get enough votes to pass.
St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice cases can be very complicated and require the attention of an experienced Missouri medical malpractice attorney. If you have been harmed or injured as the result of a physician’s negligence, contact the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm. We have a proven track record of getting favorable results for our clients. If you or a loved one have suffered as the result of medical malpractice, you deserve justice. Call us today at (618) 588-7200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.
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