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.

Tag Archives: Sears v. Learmonth

A.P. Reports 5th Circuit Ruling in Sears v. Learmonth Will be Next Year

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court
An A.P. article on Tuesday stated that the 5th Circuit’s ruling on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s non-economic damages caps will not be made until 2013. The article reports that briefing will not be complete until December 3.  Oral argument has not been scheduled. Attorneys for the parties are uncertain about whether there will be oral argument:… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Moving Forward with Deciding Caps in Sears v. Learmonth

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court
The Mississippi Business Journal Reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is asking for more briefs in the Sears v. Learmonth case. This is the case where the Mississippi Supreme Court refused to decide the constitutionality of the state’s non-economic damages on a certified question from the 5th Circuit.  The 5th Circuit’s October 5,… 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

NMC Looks at the Odd Position of Sears v. Learmonth

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court
NMC had a good post last week about the Mississippi Supreme Court’s Order requesting briefing on the waiver issue in Sears v. Learmonth. This is the case where the 5th Circuit asked the Court to decide whether Mississippi’s cap on non-economic damages is constitutional. That was the sole question that went to the Court. But the Court appears hung up… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules in Caps Case that…..More Briefing Required!!!

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Politics in Mississippi
I missed it. The Supreme Court issued an Order last week in the Sears v. Learmonth case where the Court is to decide whether Mississippi’s cap on non-economic damages is constitutional. Here is the Court’s September 15, 2011 Order. The Order states that the Court is hung up on the fact that the verdict form did not… Continue Reading

West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Damages Caps

Posted in General
On Wednesday the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld West Virginia’s legislative damages caps. Here is the opinion in MacDonald v. City Hospital, Inc. One of the plaintiff’s lawyers in the case was Robert Peck, who argued for the plaintiff last week in the Sears v. Learmonth case at the Mississippi Supreme Court. This is not… Continue Reading

Report from Sears v. Learmonth Oral Argument

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
I attended the oral argument in Sears v. Learmonth yesterday at the Mississippi Supreme Court. I counted approximately 50 people in attendance—mostly plaintiff lawyers. Given the importance of the decision, I thought that every firm in Jackson hosting summer clerks would be there with their clerks. Perhaps they did not want it to look like they support caps.… Continue Reading

Oral Argument Tomorrow in Case Challenging Mississippi’s Non-economic Damages Caps

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court
The oral argument in Sears v. Learmonth is scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in the en banc courtroom at the Mississippi Supreme Court. This is the case where the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals certified the issue of whether Mississippi’s non-economic caps is constitutional. Each side is allocated forty-five minutes to argue. Should be interesting. In… Continue Reading

Madison County Journal Joins Tort Reform Propaganda Machine

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
A definition of ‘propaganda’ is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular cause or point of view.” Last week’s Madison County Journal’s editorial supporting tort reform damages caps meets this definition. Here are some of the gems from the editorial followed by my explanations: Since tort reform, medical liability insurance… Continue Reading

Miss. Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument for Non-economic Damages Caps Case for June 14

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court
The Mississippi Supreme Court has scheduled the oral argument in the Sears v. Learmonth case for June 14, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Here is the Court’s docket calendar. The case is listed on the last page. This is the case where the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals certified the issue of the constitutionality of Mississippi’s non-economic… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Affirms $2.8 Million Verdict and Certifies Issue of Constitutionality of Non-Economic Caps to Miss. Supreme Court

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
On Wednesday the 5th  Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict of $2.8 million in Learmonth vs. Sears, Roebuck and Co. The Court also certified the issue of the constitutionality of Mississippi’s caps on non-economic damages to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Here is the Court’s opinion. The case was based on an auto accident between… Continue Reading