Missouri House seeks to limit medical liability

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS/AP) - The Missouri has approved legislation seeking to reinstate a cap on some damages in medical malpractice lawsuits after the state Supreme Court struck down the existing limit.

A 2005 law capped non economic damages in such cases at $350,000. It was part of a broader effort to curb liability lawsuits. The state high court ruled last summer that the cap is unconstitutional.

"Reasonable limits are the key to containing the costs of health care and retaining our best doctors," said Eric Burlison, R-Springfield. "They worked well here in Missouri prior to the Supreme Court's ruling, and many other states have used them effectively to keep the cost of health care affordable for everyone. We need limits in place again to bring the kind of certainty to the system that will keep insurance rates in check."

House members voted 93-62 on Thursday to pass legislation that attempts to impose the damages limit while avoiding the constitutional problem referenced by the court. It now goes to the Senate.

Supporters of limiting non economic damages contend it would reduce health care costs and help keep doctors in Missouri. Opponents say there is a fundamental constitutional right to a jury trial.

Lawsuit limits is HB112


Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.