A House committee endorsed legislation to limit non-economic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits to $350,000, although the limit would not apply to economic damages such as lost wages or hospital bills.
Supporters say the legislation is necessary to keep medical malpractice insurance premiums from soaring and potentially driving doctors out of the state, or at least making it more difficult for them to stay in business. Opponents say the limit could let bad doctors off the hook.
Missouri had non-economic damages caps in medical malpractice from 2005 to 2012, when the state Supreme Court declared the caps unconstitutional. House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said reinstating the caps was one of his top priorities for the session. The bill now goes to the House Rules committee.