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Lawsuit shaping up as test of Miss. tort reform

•  State Bar News     updated  2009/12/28 10:21


Before Mississippi lawmakers passed tort reform that limited damages in civil litigation, Ronnie Lee Lymas' lawsuit against the store where he was shot wouldn't have gotten much attention.

That's anything but true now: The case is being characterized as a test of Mississippi's tort reform laws — hailed by business leaders and despised by plaintiffs attorneys — and a showdown over so-called premises liability issues.

Lymas' lawsuit is now before the Mississippi Supreme Court, and those filing briefs in the case include the Mississippi attorney general's office, Gov. Haley Barbour and dozens of trade and business associations.

Barbour, a Republican who has championed tort reform, said in a news release Friday that Mississippi was a "judicial hellhole" before limits were placed in civil litigation and a ruling that overrides those laws would be devastating for the state.


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