Jaco – Missouri Supreme Court Does Something For You

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - For those of you who missed it, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a ruling this week that's a victory for common sense and the little guy. In a 4-3 ruling the state supreme court overturned a 2005 Missouri law limiting pain and suffering awards in malpractice cases. The Missouri legislature, pushing what's called tort reform, said a person can only get $350,000 maximum from a doctor who screws up.

The court says the law infringes on the constitutionally protected role of the jury in deciding damages awards. Republicans, led by then Governor Matt Blunt had made capping malpractice awards a centerpiece of their agenda back in 2005. The idea was that so-called tort reform would lower the price of malpractice insurance for doctors and thus help control medical costs.

Guess what? Neither happened. The cost of malpractice insurance for doctors kept rising even after the law was passed. Did it cut medical costs? If you've have to pay medical expenses since 2005 you already know the answer. It did not. The idea that malpractice costs drive doctors out of business seems compelling. Then you realize that in Missouri fewer than one percent of people who sue doctors win. That's right, in 99 out of 100 cases the doctors win.

All this law did was to limit the amount of money that could be recovered by an ordinary family if they're the victim of an extraordinary medical foul-up. The law should never have been passed in the first place. And the Missouri supreme court did the right thing by getting rid of it.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.