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Senate takes up bill to cap damages in civil suits (AUDIO)

With a few days left in this year’s session, the Senate has taken up one of the year’s most talked-about bills.  The measure commonly called “tort reform” will make some changes to how civil suits are resolved in the state–the most significant being a cap on damages meant to punish a losing defendant.  The current proposal caps punitive damages at $350,000 or three times the compensatory, or corrective, award.

AUDIO: Senator Larry Martin has been trying to get a tort change through the Senate for two sessions (:18)

Martin’s measure stalled at the end of the past session. This year, Martin has the active and outspoken support of Gov. Nikki Haley, who has called for caps.

AUDIO: Haley says to scrap the bill if it doesn’t have caps (:13)

Senator Vincent Sheheen, an attorney, questions that there are any state cases resulting in awards that would justify the call for caps.

AUDIO: Darlington’s Gerald Malloy also questions changes to the current law (:25)

Punitive damages are awarded to victims in cases of wrongdoing or negligence.

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