Personal injury case pending before 5th Circuit

By Jack Elliott Jr./The Associated Press

JACKSON — Gov. Phil Bryant is touting Mississippi’s tort reform laws as a conduit for economic development in new court papers that ask a federal court to uphold the constitutionality of a $1 million cap on non-economic damages.

The lawsuit, first filed in the federal court in 2006, contends Mississippi’s $1 million cap on non-economic damages is unfair. The cap was put into place a decade ago because of complaints that Mississippi was a “judicial hellhole” because of multimillion dollar verdicts in damage lawsuits.

In October, the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans told attorneys for Lisa Learmonth and Sears Roebuck and Co. that briefs in the case were old and it wanted new ones filed.

The 5th Circuit recently allowed Bryant to file a brief supporting the law.