Missouri Supreme Court Holds Non-Economic Damage Cap is Unconstitutional in Medical Negligence Claim

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Overruling its decision in Adams By and Through Adams v. Children’s Mercy Hosp., 832 S.W.2d 898 (Mo. banc 1992), the Missouri Supreme Court in a 4 to 3 decision held that section 538.210 RSMo 2000 is unconstitutional to the extent that it infringes on the jury’s constitutionally protected purpose of determining the amount of damages sustained by an injured party. The Court further held that section 538.220 RSMo 2000 gives the trial judge the authority to determine the manner in which future damages shall be paid, including what portion should be paid in periodic installments as to both medical and other future damages, rejecting the defendants’ argument that all future damages must be paid in a lump sum.

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