published Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Thompson: More work needed on lawsuit damages bill

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    Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., talks about lawsuit damages limits during an interview on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. The issue of lawsuit damages limits has pitted two of the state's most popular Republicans — Thompson and Gov. Bill Haslam — on opposite sides. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson says a proposed compromise to limit lawsuit damages in Tennessee is a step in the right direction, but there's still work to be done.

Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal would place a $750,000 limit on non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and punitive damages would be capped at $500,000.

The administration late last week released changes to the bill that would create a special category for "catastrophic loss," which would raise the cap for non-economic damages to $1.25 million in cases involving serious spinal cord injuries, severe burns or the death of a parent of minor children.

Thompson, hired by the Tennessee Association for Justice to lobby for the state's trial lawyers, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that brain injuries should be included.

Haslam told reporters earlier Tuesday he considers the most recent version of the measure to be in its "final form."

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