Medical Malpractice Cap Challenged in Supreme Court

The family of a boy with cerebral palsy headed to the Supreme Court last week to fight to uphold a medical malpractice lawsuit award that was drastically reduced due to Missouri state caps.

The state cap stems from a 2005 law that limits awards for non-economic damages to $350,000.

The medical malpractice lawsuit involves the 2006 birth of Naython Watts. The lawsuit claims that doctors failed to act when the child showed signs of distress in the womb, causing him to experience “catastrophic and disabling brain injuries,” according to The Springfield News-Leader. Watts, who is now 5-years-old, has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old and will never be able to walk due to his cerebral palsy.

In 2011, a jury awarded Watts and his family $4.8 million, including $1.45 million in non-economic damages. Due to the cap, the court reduced the non-economic damages to $350,000.

The family’s appeal argues that the law on medical malpractice caps violates their constitutional right to a trial by jury by allowing the damages award to be reduced from the amount determined by the jury.

If you or a loved one has been injured by medical malpractice, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation and to find out if a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you.