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SENATE PROPOSAL WILL PROTECT DRUNK DRIVERS, INSURANCE CORPORATIONS

In its latest maneuver in the ongoing special session, the Mississippi Senate has proposed civil recovery caps which will protect drunk drivers who kill or maim innocent Mississippians.

"There has been a lot of discussion over the past few days about the tragedy of losing one's children to a drunk driver," David Baria, President of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers said. "It is shocking that the Senate would try to pass a law to keep bereaved parents from receiving just compensation for the loss of their children."

"The Senate has proposed a cap on pain and suffering damages and, in the case of a wrongful death, such as the death resulting from a drunk driver, there would be no recovery for loss of enjoyment of life on behalf of the dead child,*" Baria said.

"It has been clear from the beginning of this special session that the Senate is intent on protecting insurance companies over the citizens of this state," Baria said. "Now, we see that would include drunk drivers."

"No person is immune from accident, tragedy, or in some cases, the planned malfeasance of a corporation," Baria said. "Every Mississippian should be outraged at this proposal."

Thursday morning, the Senate special committee resurrected House Bill 11, instituted a strike-all amendment and substituted language similar to its four previous proposals. The bill was presented to the Senate Thursday afternoon and passed. It was held on a motion to reconsider.

Other provisions of the bill objectionable to citizens advocates are: · Prohibits Mississippians who are harmed by a defective product manufactured by out of state, or foreign corporations from bringing suit in their home county. (Section 4, Subsection h) · Does not impose caps on compensation on scarring, but does place caps on paralysis. · Encourages frivolous appeals by taking away the penalty imposed on litigants who file appeals in civil cases. · Prohibits Mississippians from being able to seek recovery if they have a car wreck this month, but their injuries don't show up until January (Section 11).

PRESS NOTES: * (Section 9, Paragraph 2) Loss of Enjoyment of Life (Hedonic Damages) offers compensation to survivors for the things the deceased would have enjoyed had he or she lived, such as going to church with the family, taking children to soccer practice, enjoying family vacations, receiving a high school diploma, fishing and hunting. Access the bill  here

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