Missouri Supreme Court Considers Change of Medical Malpractice Law

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Today is an important day for the healthcare industry, victims of medical malpractice, and their attorneys in Missouri. The Missouri Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in a case filed by Mary and James Klotz of Arnold, Missouri which seeks to overturn a law that caps non-economic damages in medical malpractice law suits.

If the courts overturn the law, it will definitely stir up things up down at the capital. The courtroom is expected to be completely full today, as everyone from Missouri medical schools, to the Chamber of Commerce has submitted briefs expressing their opinions on the matter to the court. The court will hear arguments today and rule at a later date.

The suit is a product of Dewayne and Suzanne Blankenship’s $6 million verdict in a wrongful death suit for the medical malpractice suit filed on behalf of their son, Dylan. Dylan died at 6 months old after not being treated for a blood infection called meningococcemia. The infection can be treated with antibiotics, but the doctors did not administer antibiotics, or even intravenous fluids.

Although they received the $6,000,000 verdict, the Blankenships will never see beyond $350,000 for pain and suffering given the current law. James Klotz was also awarded more than the limits when his pacemaker became infected. Both parties have attested that they want to see things changed. Many think the law is unfair because the cap causes cases to be ‘pre-judged’ before they even going to trial.

The 2005 law, which was part of Governor Blunt’s efforts to lower costs in medical malpractice law suits, sets the limit a malpractice victim can be awarded for pain and suffering at $350,000. Blunt argued that the high costs of medical malpractice suits, and thus the risk of practicing medicine in Missouri, were running doctors out of the state. Missouri medical malpractice attorneys and victims, however, say that the law discriminates primarily against poor victims of medical malpractice, and that there were other causes of high medical malpractice insurance back in 2005 when the law was written.

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The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles wrongful death and medical malpractice cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your wrongful death or medical malpractice case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit are website at www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlments and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.