This summer, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned a 2005 state law that placed a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages in cases of medical malpractice.
At trial, the jury awarded $1.45 million in non-economic damages to the plaintiff for her son’s brain disabilities caused by medical malpractice. But the judge reduced this amount to $350,000 in accordance with the law. The plaintiff appealed, however, claiming that her right to a jury trial, as guaranteed by the state Constitution, was violated.
The Missouri Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiff by saying that the cap violated Article I, Section 22(a) of the Missouri Constitution, which states that “the right of trial by jury as heretofore enjoyed shall remain inviolate.”
Commentators have agreed with the state court’s ruling, noting that medical negligence claims existed when the Missouri Constitution was adopted.
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