In the case of a child born with catastrophic brain injuries at Cox Hospital in Springfield, the court ruled 4-3 that the 2005 state law that limits non-economic damage awards to $500,000 or five times compensatory damages -- whichever is greater -- violates the right to trial by jury.
Matt Blunt was governor when the legislature passed the cap, which was seen as the centerpiece of a sweeping lawsuit reform package. He says the ruling on what was referred to as "tort reform" will hurt the state's job climate.
"It really sends exactly the
wrong message to job creators that are considering
Business lobbies large and small pushed for the restriction in 2005 saying it would be an economic development tool.
Blunt was a key supporter of the legislation during the 2004 and 2005 legislative sessions.
"The Supreme Court's decision to undo a key provision of that law is, I think, going to be harmful for doctors, and hospitals and nurses."