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Limits on medical malpractice payouts upheld by Missouri Supreme Court

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Missouri’s high court ruled Thursday that limits on damages for medical malpractice cases are constitutional, allowing a law passed in 2015 to move forward.

By a vote of 5-1, the state Supreme Court said the Missouri General Assembly was constitutionally able to enforce limits on how much individuals suing for personal injury can recover. The 2015 law, approved by the Republican legislature and signed by former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, capped non-economic damages for personal injury at $400,000 and $700,000 for catastrophic personal injury.

Nine years ago the court ruled a similar law, which limited non-economic damages in malpractice cases to $350,000, unconstitutional. The caps in the 2015 law, the majority of the court determined, repealed a previous action enshrined in the state’s common law with “medical negligence action.” Therefore, lawmakers had the power to enforce the more recent law.





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