Mississippi Litigation Review & Commentary

Mississippi Litigation Review & Commentary

Comments on the Latest Developments in Mississippi Civil Litigation

Philip is a trial attorney based in Jackson, Mississippi with a diverse civil litigation practice.

Category Archives: Tort Reform

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Arbitration Reform is Toast

Posted in National Politics, Tort Reform, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
When I last talked about the ban of arbitration clauses in nursing home admission agreements, the political climate suggested that this was a first step in broader reform of consumer arbitration. What a difference a few weeks makes. As reported by the ABA last week, on Monday District Judge Mike Mills entered a preliminary injunction… Continue Reading

Nursing Homes Operators Sue to Uphold Arbitration — Are They Honest in Complaint?

Posted in Tort Reform, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
On Monday the American Health Care Association, Mississippi Health Care Association and several nursing homes sued the federal government in federal court in Oxford. The suit challenges the recent ban on pre-dispute arbitration provisions in nursing home admission agreements. I wrote about the ban in this post. Here is the Complaint. This is a real… Continue Reading

Nursing Home Arbitration Banned: What’s the Impact for Mississippi Litigation?

Posted in General, Tort Reform
The New York Times announced last night that the federal government is banning arbitration clauses in nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, which is pretty much all of them. It’s nice to see that the nursing home industry isn’t happy, since they are lying about arbitration: The nursing home industry has said that… Continue Reading

What to Make of the Supreme Court’s Ruling in the AWP Litigation?

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Tort Reform
As discussed here week before last, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a $30 million bench verdict in favor of the State of Mississippi against Sandoz, Inc. for overcharging the State for drugs.Here is the Court’s opinion. The decision was actually a tie, as explained last week by Judge Primeaux on his blog: Justice Chandler wrote… Continue Reading

Trial Court Filings Leveling Off

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Tort Reform
The Mississippi Supreme Court recently released its 2014 Annual Report. On page 25 (pdf p. 30), the report lists trial court filings and dispositions for 2010-2014. Circuit court civil filings were as follows: 2010: 25,800 2011: 26,862 2012: 23,553 2013: 19,429 2014: 19,305 In 2014 county court civil filings were 24,793 and chancery court filings were… Continue Reading

Parties Settle in Caps Challenge Case

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Tort Reform
Those legal nerds observers looking forward to the big oral argument Wednesday in the case where the trial judge ruled that Mississippi’s damages caps are unconstitutional will be disappointed with this: the Court cancelled oral arguments. Here is the updated docket calendar. It states that the Court cancelled oral argument on September 16. On September 17… Continue Reading

Sleazy Conduct by General Motors Shows the Dangers of Protecting Corporations from Lawsuits

Posted in Tort Reform
The legal world is blowing up this month with multiple lawsuits filed against General Motors Corp. over its faulty ignition switches that cause cars to lose power while driving down the road. The results are often deadly accidents, with the car’s airbags not deploying. A New York Times article succinctly summarizes what G.M. did: It… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Non-economic Damages Caps

Posted in Tort Reform
Last week the Florida Supreme Court struck Florida’s non-economic damages caps in medical malpractice lawsuits. Here is the Court’s 96-page decision. The Court took a hard look at the alleged medical malpractice crisis that justified the caps and concluded that if the crisis ever existed, it does not anymore: Thus, even if there had been… Continue Reading

Judge Carlton Reeves Upholds Mississippi’s Medical Malpractice Non-economic Damages Caps in Federal Tort Claims Act Case

Posted in Tort Reform, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
Randy Wallace posted on Friday about U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ opinion regarding Mississippi’s cap of $500,000 on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Wallace’s post quotes part of the opinion: All grief is not equal. All pain cannot be reduced to a one-size-fits-all sum. One cannot imagine what it is like to know that the… Continue Reading

Mississippi Per Capita Medical Malpractice Payouts are Fourth Lowest in Nation

Posted in General, Tort Reform
Diederich Healthcare has published this analysis of nationwide medical malpractice payouts for 2012 as reflected by the National Practitioner Data Bank. In general, the report notes that there has been a steady drop in medical malpractice payouts nationwide since 2001. The report identifies Mississippi as having some of the lowest payouts in the nation in… Continue Reading

Commentary on the Fifth Circuit’s Ruling in Sears v. Learmonth

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
When I wrote last week that I would comment later on the Fifth Circuit upholding Mississippi’s damages cap in Sears v. Learmonth, I hoped that the intervening days would fuel inspiration on the topic. They haven’t. I don’t have much to say. The Fifth Circuit’s opinion was about what you would expect from an opinion… Continue Reading

Circuit Judge Eddie Bowen Rules Mississippi’s Non-economic Damages Caps are Unconstitutional

Posted in Tort Reform, Verdicts in Mississippi
In this October 23 Order, Jasper County Circuit Judge Eddie Bowen ruled that Mississippi’s non-economic damages caps are not constitutional. I previously wrote about the underlying case (Tanner v. Eagle Oil & Gas Co.) here and here. A Paulding jury rendered a $18 million non-economic verdict The total verdict in the case was $36 million. Judge Bowen’s analysis started with the sexy issue… Continue Reading

Lawyers.Com Editor in Chief Goes Off on Tort Reform

Posted in General, Tort Reform
In a Huffington Post article Larry Bodine, editor in chief of Lawyers.com, criticizes tort reform as a lie: Tort reform is a lie. It doesn’t benefit the general public and results mainly in stripping Americans of their rights. The laws are pushed by well-funded, anti-consumer groups with friendly-sounding names like “ALEC” and the “U.S. Chamber… Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Refusal to Address Constitutionality of Damages Caps was Almost the Same as Upholding Caps

Posted in Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
Mississippi’s caps on non-economic damages were upheld as a result of Thursday’s decision in Sears v. Learmonth—just in an indirect way. The Court’s decision was—in some ways—both surprising and unsurprising. In 2010 the Court was able to avoid deciding the constitutionality of the caps in the Double Quick v. Lymas case when it reversed and… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Strikes Damages Caps

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Tort Reform
On Tuesday the Supreme Court struck the state’s damages caps on non-economic damages. Not the Mississippi Supreme Court, obviously. It was the Missouri Supreme Court striking that state’s caps. John Day links the opinion on his blog. In Mississippi, the Sears v. Learmonth case on the issue has been pending for so long that it’s been months since I’ve… Continue Reading

Coahoma County Circuit Court: Mississippi Tort Reform Caps Unconstitutional

Posted in Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform, Verdicts in Mississippi
Last week Circuit Judge Charles Webster of Coahoma County ruled that Mississippi’s limit on non-economic damages is unconstitutional. The decision arose from a $7.5 million verdict in a premises liability fire case in September 2011. I don’t know what the non-economic damages were, but will look it up Monday and update this post. Here is the Order.… Continue Reading

Tennessee Loser Pays Bill May Be Unfair, But Mississippi’s is Much Worse

Posted in Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
On Monday I wrote about the Republicans’ “loser pays” legislation in Mississippi. Republican sponsored “loser pays” legislation is also on the table in Tennessee, as reported in the Tennessean (a Gannett Company). Critics of the Tennessee bill state that the bill is unfair to regular folks: Daniel Clayton, a medical malpractice lawyer in Nashville, said… Continue Reading