Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 538
Tort Actions Based on Improper Health Care
Section 538.210

August 28, 2014


Limitation on noneconomic damages--jury not to be informed of limit--limit--punitive damages, requirements.

538.210. 1. In any action against a health care provider for damages for personal injury or death arising out of the rendering of or the failure to render health care services, no plaintiff shall recover more than three hundred fifty thousand dollars for noneconomic damages irrespective of the number of defendants.

2. (1) Such limitation shall also apply to any individual or entity, or their employees or agents that provide, refer, coordinate, consult upon, or arrange for the delivery of health care services to the plaintiff; and

(2) Who is a defendant in a lawsuit brought against a health care provider under this chapter, or who is a defendant in any lawsuit that arises out of the rendering of or the failure to render health care services.

(3) No individual or entity whose liability is limited by the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to any plaintiff based on the actions or omissions of any other entity or person who is not an employee of such individual or entity whose liability is limited by the provisions of this chapter. Such limitation shall apply to all claims for contribution.

3. In any action against a health care provider for damages for personal injury or death arising out of the rendering of or the failure to render health care services, where the trier of fact is a jury, such jury shall not be instructed by the court with respect to the limitation on an award of noneconomic damages, nor shall counsel for any party or any person providing testimony during such proceeding in any way inform the jury or potential jurors of such limitation.

4. For purposes of sections 538.205 to 538.230, any spouse claiming damages for loss of consortium of their spouse shall be considered to be the same plaintiff as their spouse.

5. Any provision of law or court rule to the contrary notwithstanding, an award of punitive damages against a health care provider governed by the provisions of sections 538.205 to 538.230 shall be made only upon a showing by a plaintiff that the health care provider demonstrated willful, wanton or malicious misconduct with respect to his actions which are found to have injured or caused or contributed to cause the damages claimed in the petition.

6. For purposes of sections 538.205 to 538.230, all individuals and entities asserting a claim for a wrongful death under section 537.080 shall be considered to be one plaintiff.

(L. 1986 S.B. 663 ยง 5, A.L. 2005 H.B. 393)

CROSS REFERENCES:

Applicability of statute changes to cases filed after August 28, 2005, 538.305

Time limitation to bring malpractice actions, 516.105

(2004) In wrongful death action, patient's surviving husband and two children are considered one "plaintiff" for purposes of applying statutory cap for noneconomic damages. Cook v. Newman, 142 S.W.3d 880 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(2010) Application of new cap on noneconomic damages to causes of action that accrue prior to effective date of law violates constitutional prohibition of retrospective laws. Klotz v. St. Anthony's Medical Center, 311 S.W.3d 752 (Mo.banc).

(2012) Limitations on amount of non-economic damages recoverable from a health care provider under cause of action for wrongful death does not violate constitutional right to a trial by jury or principle of separation of powers. Sanders v. Ahmed, 364 S.W.3d 195 (Mo.banc).

(2012) Cap on non-economic damages violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed by article I, section 22(a) of the Missouri Constitution. Watts v. Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, 376 S.W.3d 633 (Mo.banc).


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