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Does Missouri limit damages in medical malpractice cases?
For now, no. Like dozens of other
states, Missouri had passed a law that caps non-economic damages in
medical malpractice cases, basically limiting the amount of money
that a successful plaintiff can be awarded even after a jury has held
that the defendant is liable
for committing medical malpractice.
Until 2012, Missouri's cap for
non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases was firmly set at
$350,000. You can
still find this law codified at Missouri
Revised Statutes section 538.210, but in 2012 the Missouri Supreme Court held that the law was an unconstitutional violation of
the right to a jury trial.
Non-economic damages are meant to
compensate the plaintiff for the negative effects of medical
malpractice that aren't easily calculable, and are more subjective
from plaintiff to plaintiff. They include compensation for pain and
suffering, stress and anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring
and disfigurement, and similar losses caused by the defendant's
A bill that would restore Missouri's medical malpractice damages cap is currently being considered by state lawmakers. But for now, any medical malpractice lawsuit filed post-2012 won't be subject to a damages cap in Missouri.
Learn more about damages
in medical malpractice cases.
by: David Goguen, J.D.
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