Fifth Circuit asks for briefs related to non-economic damages cap
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has asked attorneys involved in a personal injury lawsuit that brought into question the constitutionality of Mississippi’s $1 million cap on non-economic damages to re-brief the issue.
The cap was a large part of the state’s tort reform in 2004.
The order the appeals court entered Friday comes on the heels of the Mississippi Supreme Court refusing to decide the cap’s constitutionality over the summer.
Lisa Learmonth sued Sears and Roebuck Co. after she was involved in a car wreck with one of the company’s vehicles. A federal court jury awarded her $4 million in damages, but the presiding judge reduced the award to comply with the cap. Learmonth’s attorneys, arguing the cap was unconstitutional, appealed that decision to the Fifth Circuit, which kicked the issue to the state supreme court with the directive that justices decide the constitutionality question.
Attorneys for Sears have until Oct. 22 to re-brief the issue. Attorneys for Learmonth and the state must respond by Nov. 5.