Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mississippi Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of damages cap

The Mississippi Supreme Court heard arguments this week about the constitutionality of its non-economic damages cap.  Interestingly, the case actually originated in a claim filed in federal court.  In that case, the jury awarded $2.2 million for non-economic damages but the judge reduced the non-economic damages to $1 million because of the state cap. The plaintiff appealed the reduction, in response, the federal court asked the state court to determine whether the Legislature overstepped its authority in passing the law and whether the law violates a constitutional right to have a jury determines the facts of a case, including damages.  Similar legislation has been been struck down as unconstitutional in a number of other states.  Stay tuned!  Go here and here for more on this story.

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