Missouri Senate gives initial approval to capping noneconomic medical malpractice awards

Associated Press

The Missouri Senate has moved forward a measure that would reinstate limits on noneconomic awards in medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors or hospitals.

The Senate gave initial approval Tuesday to limits on noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering, in medical malpractice cases.

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The state Supreme Court overturned $300,000 limits in a 2012 case.

Business and health care industry groups have called for new caps since. They warn that without limits, insurance costs will rise and doctors will leave.

The limits are $400,000 in most cases with $700,000 for catastrophic injuries or death. The caps increase 1.7 percent each year.

The measure was a compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Senate Democrats have opposed previous efforts to reinstate caps.

The bill faces another vote in the Senate before going to the House.