The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday on a law that is currently in place in order to limit the amount of damages that a person can receive in medical malpractice lawsuits that deals with noneconomic damages.
In medical malpractice cases, there was a cap that stated that a person could not receive more than $350,000 from a jury on awards that claim pain, suffering, loss of quality of life, or mental anguish. The lawsuit that brought the ruling into question involved a young boy who suffered a catastrophic brain injury during labor when doctors delayed the start of an emergency Cesarean section that he needed.
A jury later awarded the woman $5 million in damages, but this was reduced because of the cap placed on settlement amounts. The legal counsel for this case argued that placing a cap on medical malpractice cases is unconstitutional because it violates a person’s right to a jury trial.
The Missouri Supreme Court determined that the amount of damages awarded in a case should depend on the details of the particular case. The young boy in this case will need ongoing medical care and because the rule was overturned, he will be able to receive the compensation he needs to cover the costs.