Associated Industries of Missouri president/CEO Ray McCarty testified before a Senate Committee in favor of SB 31, sponsored by Senator Ed Emery, a bill that is the first in a series of bills to reform Missouri’s tort laws.
The bill says that plaintiffs may only get the amount they paid for services in the cost recovery part of a trial – not amounts billed that were never paid. McCarty explained to the committee the inequity of the current law.
“Many of us have received medical bills that show the value of medical services ($1000) and the amount agreed upon as actually due, which is usually much lower ($500),” said McCarty. “Under current law, in the cost recovery part of a trial, a plaintiff may recover $1000, meaning they receive recovery of amounts never paid by anyone. Under this bill, the plaintiff could recover the actual amount paid ($500), but not the amount that was never paid by anyone,” said McCarty.
He also pointed out other statutes dealt with punitive damages and other costs and amounts that may be recovered by plaintiffs, but pointed out this bill only addresses the cost recovery part of a trial.
Many groups testified in favor of the bill. The only opposition was the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.
The committee took no action on the bill this week.