The House Committee on Emerging Issues in Healthcare discussed two bills this week that would reinstate medical malpractice caps in Missouri.
In 2005 the Missouri Chamber was instrumental in passing broad based tort reform legislation that included placing caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. In a controversial 2012 decision the Missouri Supreme Court, by a vote of 4-3, overturned the 2005 law.
Both bills before the committee were aimed at correcting the courts misguided ruling.
The first bill heard was Rep. Eric Burlison’s House Bill 1173, which creates a statutory cause of action for medical malpractice claims and opens the door to reinstating caps. Burlison, a Springfield Republican, believes restoring caps will return stability to the state’s medical liability landscape and encourage doctors to continue practicing in Missouri.
The second bill heard was Rep. Bill White’s (R-Joplin) House Joint Resolution 45, which proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the liability for damages and authorizes the General Assembly to adjust the amount as necessary by law.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports both pieces of legislation. The committee heard testimony from several groups and plans to continue the hearing into next week when they will hear more testimony. No action was taken on the bills.
For more information about tort reform, please contact Jay Atkins, general counsel and director of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-634-3511.