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Tilting At Windmills

For decades many brave members of the Missouri Legislature and lobbies such as the Missouri Chamber of Commerce have been fighting to help small businesses, to keep jobs and doctors in Missouri, and to keep the trial lawyers from taking over the State.

For instance, they passed laws narrowing the claims that can be made by someone who dares ask for compensation after being injured on the job, These legislators have accomplished this while still managing to prevent such claims from being heard in the civil courts.

This session, these heroes passed a bill limiting the amount of compensation a person can receive for pain and suffering caused by a negligent doctor. They did so despite a similar law having previously been found to be unconstitutional. It takes more than the Missouri Supreme Court to stop this train.

But this is moving too slowly. If we are to halt the exodus of doctors leaving the state and our jobs going to the other, more enlightened states, we must take the bold step of simply eliminating the right to bring any lawsuit seeking monetary damages against any business or doctor in the state (businesses and doctors could, of course, still file lawsuits). Think of the benefits. Businesses could operate without worry. If a defective product maimed some guy, the company profits would not be in jeopardy. If a doctor negligently caused some catastrophic injury, that doctor would not have to worry about an increase in his malpractice insurance rates because he would not need insurance. If a drug company marketed a drug that hurt a few thousand people, it would not have to be concerned about a lawsuit draining money from its television marketing budget. And, of course, the savings derived from this action would not doubt be passed along to the people of the state. Sure, there would be no redress for those injured by such things, but we must look at the big picture. There is collateral damage in every war. If we have to trade off the right to compensation for those injured by the negligence of others in order to protect the business interests of the insurance industry and the Chamber of Commerce and to avoid being run over by all the doctors fleeing the state, then the civil justice system must go.