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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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

What Would a Republican Controlled Mississippi House of Representatives Mean for the Legal Profession in Mississippi?

Posted in Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
Mississippians will go to the polls in November to decide State House of Representative races. The results of those races will determine whether the House will be majority Democrat, with a Democratic speaker, or majority Republican with a Republican speaker. The election will likely have a profound affect on the future of the legal profession in Mississippi. Today’s Wall Street… Continue Reading

My Thoughts on HBO’s ‘Hot Coffee’ Documentary about Tort Reform

Posted in General, Tort Reform
I watched the HBO documentary Hot Coffee on Monday night. Here are a few random thoughts. The Mississippians in the documentary were superb. Former Miss. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz, Jackson attorney Rob McDuff, former Miss. Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae and author John Grisham all spoke eloquently and convincingly. I had forgotten how bogus the government’s case… 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

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

Biggest Question After Oral Argument in Double Quick v. Lymas is Whether Court Will Even Rule on Constitutionality of Tort Reform Caps

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
The entire Mississippi Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday before a mostly full courtroom in the Double Quick v. Lymas case. Here is the Clarion-Ledger’s article on the hearing. The audience was not disappointed as the arguments were very interesting. Case Background The case is a premises liability case out of Humphrey County involving the shooting… Continue Reading

Illinois and Georgia Supreme Courts Strike Down Non-economic Caps

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Tort Reform
The Supreme Courts of Illinois and Georgia recently ruled that tort reform statutes placing a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. Will Bardwell has been following the litigation. Here are his posts on the decisions in Georgia and Illinois. Bardwell links to the Georgia opinion. Here is the Illinois opinion. The opinions… Continue Reading

Attack on Tort Reform as “Ingeniously Marketed” is on the Money

Posted in General, Tort Reform
In an article for the Atlantic, legal analyst Andrew Cohen calls tort reform anti-democratic, but ingeniously marketed by corporate America: Supporters of tort reform, invariably corporatistsand others who believe in this self-defeating supply-side notion of justice, have scammed or otherwise brainwashed millions of Americans into thinking that tort reform will save them from despicable “trial lawyers,” a… Continue Reading

AAJ Publication Identifies Five Myths about Medical Negligence

Posted in General, Tort Reform
In November the American Association of Justice published this report identifying five myths about medical negligence (malpractice). The identified myths are: there are too many frivolous malpractice lawsuits; malpractice claims drive up health care costs; doctors are fleeing; malpractice claims drive up doctors’ insurance premiums; and tort reform lowers insurance rates. Note: Yesterday’s Natchez Democrat… Continue Reading

Ipse Blogit Slams Barbour’s Tort Reform Scare Tactic

Posted in Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
Matt Eichelberger at Ipse Blogit has this outstanding post taking issue with Governor Barbour’s latest tort reform scare tactic that I wrote about here.  Eichelberger notes: Now, having practiced in the civil arena before, I can assure you that pre-suit notice, in reality, does nothing more to help settle a case than the filing of a complaint… Continue Reading

Governor Barbour Admits that Pre-suit Notice Provisions Have Ulterior Motive

Posted in Mississippi Supreme Court, Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
The Clarion-Ledger reported in this story on Monday about Governor Barbour’s attempt to politically scare the Mississippi Supreme Court into reversing a near-unanimous opinion. Here is the Governor’s amicus brief filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court. Here is the Supreme Court’s opinion in Price v. Clark. As an initial comment, the Court’s decision in Price… Continue Reading

Tort Reform Propaganda and Arbitraitor Repeat Player Bias

Posted in General, National Politics, Tort Reform
How would you feel if you were sentenced to two years in prison for speeding because murder has gotten out of hand? Chances are you wouldn’t like it, since a petty offense like speeding doesn’t have anything to do with serious crimes. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and tort reform supporters commit a similar bait-and-switch when… Continue Reading

Clarion-Ledger oversimplifies physician malpractice insurance premiums analysis

Posted in General, Tort Reform
In its March 7, 2009 print edition, the Clarion-Ledger editorializes about the 60% decline in premium costs for medical malpractice insurance for physicians since the passage of tort reform legislation. I was not able to find the editorial on-line in order to link it. The Ledger points out that the plaintiff’s bar wrongly predicted that malpractice premiums… Continue Reading