Missouri state legislators are once again wrestling with whether or not to introduce legislation that would cap liability limits for medical malpractice lawsuits. As part of a major 2005 tort reform bill, Missouri limited non-economic damages for medical malpractice suits to $350,000. In July of 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down that provision as unconstitutional. Numerous Missouri physicians testified in favor of the new legislation at a recent House committee hearing.
Missouri should look to Texas as an example of medical malpractice tort reform that works. In 2003, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law a tort reform bill that limited non-economic medical malpractice damages to $250,000, with the intent of curbing frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. Texas has since seen a steady rise in the number of physicians moving into our state. We have also seen an increase in the number of physicians that specialize in high risk areas. This increase in the physician pool is the direct result of the 2003 tort reform legislation.
For more information on Missouri’s proposed legislation, click here.