Missouri Malpractice Insurance Premiums Threatened by Court Case

side note: Medical malpractice insurance premiums are threatened by a case before the Missouri Supreme Court. The state’s high court is currently considering the constitutionality of Missouri’s $1.2 million cap on non-economic, pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases.

In the case being considered, the plaintiff’s estate was awarded $1 million for past medical bills and $9.2 million in non-economic damages for medical malpractice that resulted in the plaintiff’s death. Because Missouri has a $1.2 million cap on none-economic damages, the verdict was reduced by $8 million. The plaintiff’s estate appealed, arguing the cap violated the state’s constitution by denying the estate a legitimate trial by jury and violates the state’s separation of powers statute. This case is worrisomer because similar arguments have toppled non-economic damage caps in Illinois and Georgia in recent years.

Caps on non-economic damages are effective at lowering medical malpractice insurance premiums. If the Missouri Supreme Court executes similar to Illinois and Georgia, the state’s physicians can expect their premiums to rise.

JEFFERSON CITY – (KMOX/MDN)  The right of those harmed by doctors to collect high-dollar damages came before the seven justices of the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday. (continue reading)