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Blunt Supports House-Approved Caps

Governor Matt Blunt.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Governor Matt Blunt visited a St. Louis-area hospital Friday to praise the passage of a medical malpractice reform bill in the Missouri House.

The bill caps non-economic damages at $250,000.

Malpractice insurance premiums that rise at rates of 30 percent or more a year are driving physicians out of Missouri.

The governor said he's confident the state will enact meaningful litigation reform this year that will lower malpractice insurance premiums.

"So if we make some changes, medical malpractice insurance providers will come back into the marketplace," Blunt said, "...and if you believe in market forces, and I do, that will help to lower rates."

Dr. Joe Forand with St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis County says last May, the hospital received only four new employment applications from doctors.

"Usually that's the peak month for that," Forand said. "And there were only four new applications, 25 resignations, of which I would say 20 were related to malpractice issues; either early retirements or moving out of state."

The bill also restricts changes of venue for personal injury trials.


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