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Physician Law Blog

We provide insights and analysis for physicians, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists and other health professionals on issues impacting their practices.

Physician Law Blog
March 10, 2021

The Missouri Supreme Court Upholds a Jury’s Award of Punitive Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case but Issues a Strong Warning to Future Litigants

On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court in Rhoden v. Missouri Delta Medical Center upheld a Scott County jury’s award of $300,000 in punitive damages.  The Court held that the facts in the record met the Plaintiff’s burden of proving “defendant[s] showed a complete indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of others.”

Physician Law Blog
May 14, 2020

Senate Bill No. 591 Drastically Changes the Game for Plaintiff’s Bringing Punitive Damages Claims

Senate Bill No. 591, which was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed by the Missouri General Assembly on May 12, 2020, modifies four statutes regulating punitive damages in civil cases. At the forefront of the bill is the new and heightened burden of proof resting on a plaintiff wishing to bring a punitive damages claim against a defendant. Under Section 510.263.1, a plaintiff must prove by “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff without just cause or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others.” The bill will be sent to the Governor for approval and signing. If signed by the Governor, the provisions in the act shall apply to any civil cause of action filed on or after the effective date of August 28, 2020.