(Jefferson City) (AP) – Seeking to sidestep a court ruling, the Missouri House endorsed legislation Wednesday that attempts to reinstate limits on the amount of money people can receive from medical malpractice lawsuits.
The bill given initial approval seeks to re-impose a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical practice cases that was struck down by Missouri Supreme Court in 2012.
The court ruled that a 2005 Missouri law imposing the financial limit violated a right to a jury trial that it said had been embedded in the Missouri Constitution since in 1820. The legislation attempts to get around that by declaring that medical practice claims are not covered through common law that existed when the constitution was adopted and instead are governed by state laws.
A similar measure passed the Republican-led House last year but stalled in the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans. A second House vote is needed to send this year’s measure to the Senate.