Tort Reform Update: Recently Enacted Legislative Reforms and State Court Challenges

Over the past two years, state legislatures throughout the nation have passed a significant number of substantive tort reforms. This legislation is often controversial and many of the new statutes will undoubtedly be challenged by opponents. Historically the most common tort reforms to be challenged are statutory caps on noneconomic damages in personal injury cases. Litigants challenging the laws have experienced mixed success. Most recently, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld that state’s statutory cap of $250,000 noneconomic damages. Yet just months prior to the Kansas decision, the Supreme Court of Missouri struck down that state’s $350,000 cap for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.

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