The Supreme Court in Missouri has overturned a ruling that placed a cap on noneconomic damages awarded in medical malpractice cases after determining that this cap is unconstitutional. Noneconomic damages include pain, suffering, loss of quality of life, and mental anguish.

A 4-3 decision was reached regarding this issue after a birth injury case brought it to the court’s attention.

In the birth injury case, a jury awarded a mother a financial award much higher than the cap for her young son, who received a brain injury during birth due to delayed medical attention.

The cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpratice cases was set at $350,000 in 2005, but the court overturned this ruling because it fails to give people their right to trial by jury. The court decided that the amount should be determined by a jury according to the details of each case.