Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Placing Caps on Lawsuit Payouts

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II | June 17, 2011

A measure to place caps on payouts from successful medical malpractice and other civil cases has been signed by the governor.

Under the law, a $750,000 cap would be placed on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, and the cap would be raised to $1 million in cases involving serious spinal cord injuries, severe burns or the death of a parent of minor children.

Punitive damages would be capped at twice the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000 – whichever is greater.

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the legislation on Thursday. Supporters of the new law include the National Federation of Independent Business, which see it as a tool to level the playing field for small businesses.

Critics say the law prevents companies from being held accountable.

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