Leveling the playing field

By Staff
June 20, 2004
Flanked by a bevy of interested parties, Gov. Haley Barbour signed the historic Tort Reform Act of 2004 last week. Lawmakers, community leaders, small businesses, the medical community, manufacturers, the financial services sector and others who fought a long battle for the passage of legislation that the governor believes will effectively ends lawsuit abuse in Mississippi were all present.
On the same day as the signing, MassMutual Financial Group, a nationwide life insurance company, announced it is re-entering the market for Mississippi municipal bonds due to the recent passage of comprehensive tort reform. Barbour had met with corporate leaders and media outlets in New York and Washington including a speaking engagement to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has ranked Mississippi last for a fair legal climate three years in a row to officially announce the new civil justice legislation that makes Mississippi a more attractive place for industries to locate.
Passage of the tort reform bill is a good omen for Mississippi and, hopefully, will help attract more businesses to the state and help the ones already here think about expansion.
Here are some of the key features that will be extolled in new ads being prepared for national publications:
Strong venue reform, which should help limit the venue shopping that has been used by plaintiffs and their lawyers to get friendly juries;
Reasonable limits on non-economic damage awards ($500,000 for the medical industry and $1 million for general businesses);
Strong joint and several liability reform; strong innocent retailer provisions; and sensible protections against punitive damages for medium and small businesses.
Already, The Wall Street Journal is speaking out about Mississippi as a case study in how to break the power of the trial lawyer lobby. The newspaper called the law one of the most comprehensive legal reform bills in the nation.
The new takes effect Sept. 1.

Russellville

ALDOT announces grants for municipal airports

Franklin County

Watermelon Festival Pageant crowns new queen

News

Roxy holds annual W.C. Handy’s Evening at the Roxy Great Pretenders Show

Franklin County

Distinguished Young Women deadline approaches

College Sports

NWSCC adds volleyball to growing Patriot athletics program

News

Russellville Parks and Rec adult softball league grows interest

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Thomas Randall Miller

Franklin County

Community Spirit Bank announces promotion

Franklin County

UPDATED: Russellville Police Department locates man wanted in three states

Franklin County

Local students earn collegiate honors

East Franklin

PHOTOS: East Franklin Junior High awards honors

News

Traveling band makes stop at Phil Campbell High School

News

Russellville Parks and Rec holds adult sandlot softball game

Galleries

PHOTOS: Community celebrates Fourth of July with annual Jam on Sloss Lake

News

Second Canadian Phil greeted by town

Franklin County

Franklin County Schools lead nurse school nurse named administrator of the year

News

Former Russellville resident performs in ‘Miracle Worker’

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville, Red Bay public libraries enjoy summer reading program events

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight: Robbie Richardson

News

University of Mississippi announces spring Chancellor’s Honor Roll

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

x