Since that time, several cases have come before the Mississippi Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of tort reform–specifically damage caps. Currently before the Court is the case of Learmouth v. Sears Roebuck and Company. In Learmouth, a Neshoba County jury awarded the Plaintiff $4M in damages ($1.2M in lost wages, $573,000 in past and future medical expenses, and $2.2M in non-economic damages). The trial court reduced the non-economic damages to the state’s $1M damages cap, and the Plaintiff appealed the trial court’s reduction to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 5th Circuit then referred the matter to the Mississippi Supreme Court for a ruling on the constitutionality of the damages cap. [Read more…]
In 2004, under the pro-business leadership of then Governor, Haley Barbour, the Mississippi legislature was called into special session and emerged from session after enacting non-economic damage caps of $500,000.00 in medical negligence cases and $1M in most other cases. This was part of a sweeping tort reform package that has remained on the books in Mississippi.