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“When we’re talking about noneconomic losses, we’re talking about what makes people human.” -Steve Garne


Jefferson City- Senator Bob Dixon is offering Senate Bill 64 to increase the standard of evidence needed in medical malpractice lawsuits. The bill would change the standard of evidence from a “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing.” That standard is one step below “beyond a reasonable doubt” the standard used in criminal trials. The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Criminal and Civil and Jurisprudence hearing began at 9 p.m. on Monday February 4. Strong-Garner-Bauer’s own Steve Garner, president-elect of the Missouri Association of Trail Attorneys spoke in opposition to the bill. “When we’re talking about non-economic losses, we’re talking about what makes people human,” Garner said. He went on to say that juries will interpret the higher standard to mean plaintiffs need to use document based evidence. Garner said non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are hard to prove with objection to evidence. Missouri Lawyers Weekly stated, Garner testified that the bill would make it harder for victims of negligence to recover for injuries to their quality of life. “They’re fighting a system that oftentimes is stacked against them,” Garner said. But some members of the committee said the burden didn’t seem to high. “Just because the standard is a little tighter doesn’t mean justice won’t be done,” said Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph and a medical doctor. “In fact, it might lead to more justice being done.” “It depends on whose ox is being gored,” Garner responded
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