Posted by Dave Berry
By Brad Lager
Elected officials often talk about creating jobs and growing the economy. Normally, their rhetoric revolves around using the state treasury to “incentivize” a business to do what they want. Those of us in the private sector understand that a real pro-business environment involves limited regulation, low taxation and fair litigation.
Businesses want to locate and grow in states that have a pro-business climate. In the past decade, one of the most important aspects to being a business friendly state is based on the fairness of the legal climate. If businesses are sued (which is very common in today’s world), they want to argue their case in a fair justice system. Unfortunately, Missouri’s legal climate is no longer viewed as fair or balanced.
Most states in the country have some level of limits on non-economic damages. Missouri was no different until the fall of 2012 when an activist judge ruled those caps were unconstitutional. As a result, Missouri once again has one of the worst legal environments in the nation. Doctors and other healthcare providers across Missouri are once again operating in fear of unfair and unreasonable frivolous lawsuits. This will only harm Missouri’s medical and economic opportunities while limiting our access to affordable, quality healthcare. Without resolution, medical malpractice insurance will skyrocket thereby driving up the cost for consumers while pushing good doctors out of our state.