In 2015, two of the firm’s attorneys were involved in briefing and arguing before the Missouri Supreme Court in favor of the constitutionality of the statutory cap on non-economic damages in a medical negligence wrongful death action.
Plaintiffs argued the statutory noneconomic damage cap violates the right to trial by jury, the equal protection clause, and the doctrine of separation of powers in statutory wrongful death cases. Plaintiffs based this argument on a 2012 Missouri Supreme Court opinion holding the same statutory cap violates the right to trial by jury in common law medical negligence cases. Defendants argued a prior Missouri Court opinion controls in the context of a wrongful death case and squarely holds that the noneconomic damage cap does not violate the right to trial by jury in wrongful death cases.
In April 2016, the Missouri Supreme Court issued its opinion upholding the constitutionality of the statutory cap. The ruling has far-reaching implications and application for Missouri healthcare providers sued in a wrongful death action.