Updated 4:33 p.m.with reporting by KCUR's Elana Gordon.
Missouri’s Supreme Court has effectively overturned state caps on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. The court ruled today in favor of Deborah Watts, who filed suit against Cox Medical Centers in Springfield for injuries her son suffered at birth in 2006.
At stake are ballot questions that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, and cap interest rates on payday loans. The fate of all three may turn on whether the State Auditor has the authority to estimate the financial impact of citizens’ petition initiatives. Attorney Ronald Holliger argued that the High Court should uphold a lower court ruling supporting the State Auditor’s authority.