FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 3, 2004

GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR PRAISES LEGISLATURE FOR ENDING LAWSUIT ABUSE

(Jackson, Miss.) – Today the House joined the Senate in passing a comprehensive tort reform bill that will be effective in ending lawsuit abuse in Mississippi. The bill is being held over until tomorrow.

“We are not taking anything for granted, but I think it would be inappropriate for me to wait to give credit to a lot of people who deserve it,” said Governor Barbour during a press conference late Thursday afternoon. “Success has a thousand fathers, but in the case of both Houses passing this compromise bill, there is plenty of credit to go around,” he added.

The House voted today to concur with the Senate on a bill that will cap non-economic damages at $1 million, protect innocent sellers, reform venue codes and enact other reforms aimed at limiting lawsuit abuse. Local community leaders, small businesses, the medical community, manufacturers, the financial services sector and others fought a long battle for the passage of this legislation.

Governor Barbour specifically thanked Lt. Governor Amy Tuck, Speaker Billy McCoy, Senator Travis Little, Representative J.P. Compretta, Chairmen Charlie Ross and Ed Blackmon, Representatives Jeff Smith and Jim Simpson, Senators Ralph Doxey and Tommy Robertson, and all House and Senate members who voted for comprehensive tort reform.

“I urge you not to overlook the leaders who were not originally supporters, but who were willing to compromise,” said Governor Barbour. “First of all, Speaker McCoy, without whom this compromise and today’s decision could not have been accomplished; Speaker Pro Tem J.P. Compretta who played a vital role; and Chairman Ed Blackmon deserves tremendous credit for setting aside his personal preferences and allowing a compromise that a majority supported. I appreciate and thank them all,” he added.

Governor Barbour plans to sign the tort reform bill immediately.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741