Mo. House speaker wants reinstated lawsuit limits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says he wants to reinstate a cap on some damages that plaintiffs can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.

A 2005 state law capped noneconomic damages such as for pain and suffering at $350,000. The Missouri Supreme Court struck down the limit in July 2012.

Jones said Thursday that millions of dollars will be shifted from providing health care to legal defense costs without legislative action this year.

House members endorsed legislation last year that sought to reinstate the damages limit, but the Republican speaker said he has not settled on a particular approach for this year.

Opponents of caps on damages contend juries should be respected to make decisions in malpractice cases.

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