Missouri’s medical malpractice caps are restored

Following three years of unlimited payouts, medical malpractice lawsuit caps have been restored in Missouri. With the governor’s signature on a compromise bill, Missouri has taken a positive step toward protecting our state’s medical provider community.

In 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court released a decision that abolished Missouri’s previous medical lawsuit caps. An uncapped malpractice litigation environment leads to higher medical malpractice insurance costs for all physicians, making Missouri a less appealing place to practice medicine.

Senate Bill 239 fixes this problem. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown, a Republican from Rolla, and places a $400,000 cap on noneconomic damage awards in medical malpractice cases. For catastrophic and wrongful death cases, the cap would be $700,000. The proposal received bipartisan support.

For any enterprise, cost of doing business is a major factor in deciding where to locate. Missouri’s uncapped malpractice litigation system has led to rising insurance costs for our physicians, harming Missouri’s ability to offer a competitive environment to attract medical clinicians,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Ever since the injudicious Supreme Court ruling in 2012, Missouri’s uncapped malpractice system has been a critical issue. I’d like to thank our elected leaders for finding a compromise and finally resolving this problem.”

Under the law, the new caps will increase by 1.7 percent each year. The bill was handled in the House by Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican from Springfield.

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About mochamber

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that the quality of life in our state depends on quality jobs for Missourians. To that end, we have one simple mission: to protect and advance Missouri business.

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