The Missouri Senate this week will debate changes to state laws governing civil lawsuits, and Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, has vowed “to spend all week on it” until reform is passed.
In 2005 the state established a cap of $350,000 on non-economic damage awards, saying the state’s uncertain legal climate made business and financial planning uncertain and drove physicians to other states.
But a 2012 ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that cap violated the constitutional right of a jury to decide damages. In another ruling last September, the court ruled the law violated plaintiffs’ rights.
Richard has complained in recent years about court rulings overturning the 2005 law, and he said he intends to pass reforms.