☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 538

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2017, 4 histories, see footnote   (history) bottom

  538.205.  Definitions. — As used in sections 538.205 to 538.230*, the following terms shall mean:

  (1)  "Catastrophic personal injury", a physical injury resulting in:

  (a)  Quadriplegia defined as the permanent loss of functional use of all four limbs;

  (b)  Paraplegia defined as the permanent loss of functional use of two limbs;

  (c)  Loss of two or more limbs;

  (d)  An injury to the brain that results in permanent cognitive impairment resulting in the permanent inability to make independent decisions or engage in one or more of the following activities of daily living:  eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, transferring, and walking;

  (e)  An injury that causes irreversible failure of one or more major organ systems; or

  (f)  Vision loss such that the patient's central visual acuity is no more than twenty/two-hundred in the better eye with the best correction or whose field of vision in the better eye is restricted to a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle no greater than twenty degrees;

  (2)  "Economic damages", damages arising from pecuniary harm including, without limitation, medical damages, and those damages arising from lost wages and lost earning capacity;

  (3)  "Employee", any individual who is directly compensated by a health care provider for health care services rendered by such individual and other nonphysician individuals who are supplied to a health care provider by an entity that provides staffing;

  (4)  "Equitable share", the share of a person or entity in an obligation that is the same percentage of the total obligation as the person's or entity's allocated share of the total fault, as found by the trier of fact;

  (5)  "Future damages", damages that the trier of fact finds will accrue after the damages findings are made;

  (6)  "Health care provider", any physician, hospital, health maintenance organization, ambulatory surgical center, long-term care facility including those licensed under chapter 198, dentist, registered or licensed practical nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, pharmacist, chiropractor, professional physical therapist, psychologist, physician-in-training, and any other person or entity that provides health care services under the authority of a license or certificate;

  (7)  "Health care services", any services that a health care provider renders to a patient in the ordinary course of the health care provider's profession or, if the health care provider is an institution, in the ordinary course of furthering the purposes for which the institution is organized.  Professional services shall include, but are not limited to, transfer to a patient of goods or services incidental or pursuant to the practice of the health care provider's profession or in furtherance of the purposes for which an institutional health care provider is organized;

  (8)  "Medical damages", damages arising from reasonable expenses for necessary drugs, therapy, and medical, surgical, nursing, x-ray, dental, custodial and other health and rehabilitative services;

  (9)  "Noneconomic damages", damages arising from nonpecuniary harm including, without limitation, pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of capacity to enjoy life, and loss of consortium but shall not include punitive damages;

  (10)  "Past damages", damages that have accrued when the damages findings are made;

  (11)  "Punitive damages", damages intended to punish or deter willful, wanton or malicious misconduct, including exemplary damages and damages for aggravating circumstances;

  (12)  "Self-insurance", a formal or informal plan of self-insurance or no insurance of any kind.


(L. 1986 S.B. 663 § 4, A.L. 1997 H.B. 335, A.L. 2005 H.B. 393, A.L. 2015 S.B. 239, A.L. 2017 H.B. 452)

*Section 538.230 was repealed by H.B. 393, 2005.


Applicability of statute changes to cases filed after August 28, 2005, 538.305

(1994)  United States fits within the definition of health care provider for purposes of statute as entity that provides health care services under the authority of a license.  License is Congressional legislation which authorizes the operation of Veterans Administration hospitals.  Romero v. United States, 865 F.Supp. 585 (E.D. Mo.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2017 ----

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538.205 8/28/2020
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538.205 8/28/2015 8/28/2017
538.205 8/28/2005 8/28/2015

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