If you or a family member may be the victim of medical negligence in Missouri that causes horrendous and debilitating pain and suffering or other substantial noneconomic harms, your right to receive fair, just, and full compensation for your losses and injuries is being attacked, once again, by Missouri legislators who want to protect the financial interests of negligent health care providers at the expense of ordinary residents of Missouri who have neither the financial resources nor the political clout to insure that their own interests and rights are protected and preserved.
The Supreme Court of Missouri held in Watts v. Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, et al. on July 31, 2012 that the $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in Missouri medical malpractice claims that was passed into law in 2005 “is unconstitutional to the extent that it infringes on the jury’s constitutionally protected purpose of determining the amount of damages sustained by an injured party. Such a limitation was not permitted at common law when Missouri’s constitution first was adopted in 1820 and, therefore, violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed by article I, section 22(a) of the Missouri Constitution.”
The Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives announced earlier this month his support in reinstating Missouri’s $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. The Speaker has taken it upon himself to proclaim that the sky-is-falling for health care professionals in Missouri: “We’re just now in the first year or so after this decision was made. We’re going to see medical malpractice premiums rise in our state, which is going to incentivize doctors, nurses and hospital administrators to not invest in Missouri and not to be here.”
The Speaker’s Biography on the Missouri House’s website states: “Timothy (“Tim”) W. Jones is the State Representative for the 110th District (Eureka & Wildwood) and a Member of the law firm of Doster Ullom, LLC (Chesterfield). He practices in the Litigation Department, has tried numerous cases to successful verdict and argued successfully before various Courts of Appeal. Tim also represents businesses in the areas of corporate, transactional, real estate and tax assessment appeals.” Source
The website of the Speaker’s law firm states that one of the Speaker’s law partners “has successfully defended numerous businesses (large and small) and individuals. [His] practice includes defense of medical providers …” Source
The Missouri House of Representatives had passed House Bill 112 last year (on March 28, 2013), which would have reinstated the $350,000 cap. On May 1, 2013, House Bill 112 was “set aside for future debate” in the Missouri Senate.
A bill submitted earlier this month for consideration in the Missouri Senate would further harm medical malpractice victims: SB 583 would change the current law that provides that plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases are required to prove noneconomic damages by a preponderance of the evidence. If passed into law, SB 583 would require that noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases be proven by clear and convincing evidence, which is a much higher evidentiary standard. Source
If you or a loved one may have been injured due to medical negligence in Missouri or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a Missouri medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate your possible malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical negligence case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with Missouri medical malpractice lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you with your malpractice claim, or call us toll free at 800-295-3959.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.