JEFFERSON CITY — Caps on the amount of money a person can win in medical malpractice lawsuits are a violation of the right to a jury trial, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
In a 4-3 decision, the court overturned the $350,000 damages cap, which was put in place in 2005 by the Republican-led legislature as part of a massive tort-reform bill. At the time, supporters argued it would help reign in medical malpractice premiums for doctors.
The case began when a woman whose son was born with catastrophic brain injuries filed a medical malpractice suit against the medical center and her doctors for providing negligent health care services. The jury awarded $1.45 million in non-economic damages, but a judge reduced the award to $350,000 to comply with the state cap.