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Mo. House Passes Bill To Restore Medical Malpractice Damage Caps

A doctor's stethoscope
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)
A doctor's stethoscope

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would restore caps on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

The law that put the caps in place was tossed out last year by the Missouri Supreme CourtState Representative Mike Colona (D, St. Louis) spoke against restoring medical malpractice damage caps during floor debate.

“You’re protecting people that make mistakes," Colona said.  "You’re taking my right to be made whole away – I lose my ability to make a living, I lose my ability to provide for my family, and you’re telling me that the insurance company is more important.”

The sponsor, State Representative Eric Burlison (R, Springfield), says health care in Missouri will become less affordable unless caps on medical malpractice damages are restored. 

"In the three years leading up to 2005, when (lawmakers) passed medical malpractice caps, Missouri lost 225 physicians that left the state," Burlison said.  "Since that cap was put in place, Missouri has...added physicians year after year...the costs for medical malpractice premiums have gone down, and the volume of lawsuits have gone down, until (last) year, when the caps were thrown out by the courts."

The bill now goes to the Missouri Senate.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.