The medical bills statute of the 2005 tort reform law is unconstitutional, a St. Louis County judge said this morning as he granted a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial.
Judge Stephen Goldman called the procedure for determining the reasonable value of medical care vague and a violation of the due process clauses of the state and federal constitutions. Goldman’s judgment came in a vehicular personal injury lawsuit between plaintiffs Ronald and Daphyn Vickery and defendant Herbert Glosemeyer. Daphyn Vickery was dismissed from the case without prejudice in April.
Spencer Farris, who represents Ronald Vickery, alleged reasonable damages of $86,027.93, but, before trial, Goldman decided $51,544.90 was the reasonable amount of medical services received. In June, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Vickery but awarded him $25,772.45 plus costs.
The medical bills statute, Section 490.715.5, states that evidence of the amount of the paid medical bills creates a rebuttable presumption of reasonableness. Farris argued in his motion for new trial that testimony by Vickery’s treating neurosurgeon rebutted the presumption that the amount paid, $51,544.90, was the reasonable value of medical care.
The case is Vickery v. Glosemeyer, 08SL-CC00824.