JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned a key provision in a Republican-backed "tort reform" law that limited the amount of money people could win in medical malpractice lawsuits.
In a 4-3 decision Tuesday, the high court said the 2005 law violated the right to a jury trial by capping noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases at $350,000. The limit had applied to lawsuits alleging health care providers were at fault for injuries or deaths.
The monetary limit had been a focal point of a law passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Matt Blunt. They had hoped it would help reign in rising medical malpractice premiums for doctors and thus improve the availability of health care.