The Law Office of Kurt H King

November 16, 2017

Are Damage Caps Constitutional in Missouri’s New MHRA Regarding Discrimination

Missouri’s amendments to the Missouri Human Rights Act (codified in Chapter 213 of the Revised Missouri Statutes) cap employer liability for damages beyond back pay with interest to a scale tied to the number of employees of the employer.  The maximum tier for employers with over 500 employees carries a $500,000 limit on such non-pecuniary damages–a category including punitive damages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life.  (Section 213.111, RSMo, at subsection 4.)

The question is whether those caps will stand.  Similar damage caps were struck down as to medical malpractice actions in Watts v. Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, 376 S.W.3d 633 (Missouri Supreme Court 2012), as an unconstitutional restriction upon the common law right to trial by jury.

Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068

816.781.6000

Personal Injury & Other Litigation, Workers’ Compensation

 

 

August 19, 2014

History of Wrongful Death Actions in Missouri

Do yourself a big favor and read Daniel Sheffner’s article in the July-August 2014 edition of the Journal of the Missouri Bar (Google search will find it for you), entitled “Wrongful Death’s Common Law Antecedents in Missouri.” Well written with important information.

Sheffner traces the fallacy that began the need for states to pass wrongful death laws. And, he points out that James v. Christy, 18 Mo. 162 (1853), a case decided two years before Missouri’s first wrongful death law, indicates that Missouri COMMON LAW afforded recovery of damages for wrongful death.

Since Missouri common law granted recovery for wrongful death prior to the state’s first wrongful death act passed in 1855, the present damage caps should not apply for that reason as well as the fact that such caps were recently struck down where the victim survived the injury. Why should recovery be limited when the victim dies but not when he lives?

Kurt H. King
816.781.6000
20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068
http://www.kurthking.com

Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for debtors, Family Law, General Matters

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