- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved legislation that would cap financial awards in medical malpractice lawsuits except in severe cases.

The House approved the bill Wednesday 65-32 to limit pain and suffering payouts at $250,000 in most cases of medical malpractice and create standards for expert witnesses testifying in such cases.

The chamber unanimously added an exception to the cap if a jury finds an individual suffered substantial impairment to bodily function, substantial disfigurement or death. The Senate will need to approve the change before the bill becomes law.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says noneconomic caps have been declared unconstitutional in 10 states, but several states have upheld such liability limits.

Supporters of the bill say it’s necessary to help recruit doctors and lower medical liability and premiums.

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