Last Thursday Governor of Missouri Jay Nixon signed a new set of controversial medical malpractice damage caps into law. The governor claims the state’s new caps “protects patients” while “helping to attract and retain health care providers” to the state of Missouri. Opponents insist the caps will make patients more vulnerable and doctors less responsible for their mistakes.
Just a few years ago, Missouri’s Supreme Court rejected comparable damage caps claiming they were “unconstitutional” and work against a citizen’s basic right to a trial by jury. Democratic House Minority Leader Jacob Hummel adds that damages should be decided by a jury exclusively.
Although the new damage ceilings have doubled for wrongful death claims (from $350,000 to $700,000), “catastrophic” claims that include significant and permanent injury are capped at $700,000. However, damages that include future economic loss and/or financially devastating future medical expenses will not be capped by the same limitations since they often span way beyond the designated $700,000 ceiling. The damage caps will increase annually by 1.7% which is part of the reason Democratic senators did not veto the laws as they have in the past.
While proponents claim the damage limits will make health insurance more affordable, patients and patient’s advocates claim that the damage caps will shield negligent doctors who are considered repeat offenders. To read more about Missouri’s new medical malpractice caps, visit St. Louis Posts’ website for a full article.
New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers Weiss & Paarz have dedicated their careers to fighting for victims of severe and permanent injury due to medical negligence. If you or a loved one feels they have a potential claim, contact us today for a free consultation. We do not charge our clients any fees unless we obtain compensation for them.