Medical Malpractice Cap for Non-Economic Damages Found Unconstitutional by Missouri Supreme Court
On July 31, 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, found a 2005 law limiting jury awards for "pain and suffering" in medical malpractice cases to be an improper infringement on the jury's constitutionally protected purpose of determining the amount of damages sustained by an injured party. The underlying case involved an alleged delay in the performance of a c-section. A Greene County jury awarded the plaintiffs over $5 million, a verdict which was later reduced pursuant to Missouri law. It has been reported that supporters of the stricken law may work to have Missouri's state constitution amended so that such award limits are constitutional. The 2005 reform was a legislative effort to control rising medical malpractice insurance rates.