Senate Stops Debate on Medical Malpractice Bill

HB112, a bill that would re-instate the $350,000 cap on non-economic damages in Medical Malpractice lawsuits was being debated in the Senate on April 30th, 2013. The bill was presented in response to the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision in Watts v. Cox Medical Center, which held that the cap on jury awards in medical malpractice actions was an unconsitutional limit on citizens’ right to trial by jury. Opponents of the bill argued that the bill itself was a constitutional amendment, since it basically altered the constitution and erased hundreds of years of Missouri jurisprudence. Many Senators expressed doubt that this new bill would be upheld if challenged in the Missouri Supreme Court.

Based on the opposition to the bill, the Senate stopped debate. The question remains as to whether proponents of the bill will seek to put a constitutional amendment before voters that will reinstate the caps on Medical Malpractice actions.

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