Haslam signs bill capping jury awards for pain and suffering

Haslam signs bill capping jury awards for pain and suffering

June 16th, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law today his legislation that caps the amount of damages that juries can award in medical malpractice and other personal injury lawsuits.

The Republican said he believes he and GOP lawmakers "did everything we could to protect victims' rights" while at the same time providing a "predictable playing field" that will promote economic growth.

"We're not just talking about providing a better business environment in Tennessee," he said at a signing ceremony surrounded by GOP legislative leaders including House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga. "It's happening."

The new law places a $750,000 cap on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The cap rises to $1 million in cases involving amputation, the death of a parent of minor children, serious spinal cord injuries and severe burns.

Punitive damages are limited to twice the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000 - whichever is greater - except in instances of intentional misconduct, records destruction, or conduct under influence of drugs or alcohol.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.