Physicians rally, House passes cap on non economic damages
With white-coated physicians watching on from the House gallery, state representatives Wednesday gave final passage to a bill that would cap court awards on non-economic damages at $350,000.
The legislation would reinstate a limit that was thrown out by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2012.
Doctors from throughout Missouri came to the State Capitol Wednesday to rally in support of the legislation that they say is necessary to hold down medical malpractice insurance rates.
Dr. David Tannehill, a critical care physician at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, told the Associated Press Missouri’s lack of a cap for noneconomic damages is affecting patient care and the cost of practicing medicine. He said the Legislature needs to reinstate it as quickly as possible.
“We face the risk of malpractice every day,” said Tannehill, who is in his fourth year of practice. “We face it in the room with patients and whenever we order a test.”
Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Jones had made the passage of the cap a priority of the House this session. The bill passed by a 94-61 margin and is headed for the State Senate, where it died last year after the House had passed it.