Is Tennessee’s Tort Reform Act For Non-Economic Damages Unconstitutional?
Back in 2011, Tennessee passed the Tort Reform Act. In a nutshell, it states that personal injury cases must have a cap on the compensation awarded. There is a limit of $750,000 for “non-economic” damages.
The act excludes things like catastrophic losses and injuries from that cap. Examples include amputation of hands or feet. And, spinal cord damage that results in paraplegia. For those exceptions, the limit gets raised to $1 million.
Why is that act in force? The answer is simple: to limit the financial burden on insurance companies. As you can imagine, the act doesn’t provide a fair deal to those seeking compensation. Many personal injury cases can have a devastating impact on a person’s life.
They can prevent individuals from leading normal lives again. And they may even stop people from working in the future or have independence and a good quality of life.
As you can appreciate, there is a dilemma for both lawmakers and businesses. The law wants to ensure that people get fair and just compensation for any personal injuries. But, it doesn’t want to give a negative impact to the local economy.
Opponents to the act are making some headway in getting it reversed. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the caps aren’t violating the law. But circuit court judge Neil Thomas is defying the act to limit compensation claims. He is doing so on the basis that the act is unconstitutional. The following infographic explains more about the situation:
Infographic Produced By Law Offices of Tony Seaton, PLLC.