FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 15, 2004
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR GIVEN STATE LEGISLATIVE AWARD FROM THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
(Washington, D.C.) – Governor Haley Barbour was granted the State Legislative Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform yesterday for his role in passing Mississippi’s comprehensive Tort Reform Act of 2004.
On June 16th, Governor Haley Barbour signed into law the most sweeping legal reform legislation in the country * a victory the Wall Street Journal called “one of the most comprehensive legal reform bills in the nation.”
“This accomplishment was largely a product of Governor Barbour’s unwavering commitment,” said Stan Anderson, executive vice president and chief legal officer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “After the state legislature failed to pass an acceptable bill during the regular session, Governor Barbour called legislators back into a special session and made clear that he would not accept anything short of comprehensive reform.”
The bill signed by Governor Barbour provides significant relief to Mississippi’s employers. Among the chief items included in the new law are: strong venue reform; reasonable limits on non-economic damage awards ($500,000 for the medical industry and $1 million for general businesses); strong joint and several liability reform; strong innocent retailer provisions; and sensible protections against punitive damages for medium and small businesses. The bill became effective September 1, 2004.
“I want to accept this award on behalf of those who worked so hard, especially lawmakers, for the passage of meaningful tort reform,” said Governor Barbour. “Mississippi is already seeing companies return to our market as a result of this legislation. I am going to make sure that businesses around the globe know that Mississippi is open for business.”
Not only was the Governor recognized for this achievement, but he also was the keynote speaker at the event – the Chamber’s Fifth Annual Legal Reform Summit held in Washington. The Summit addressed on-going and emerging issues in the legal reform arena. The Summit also featured Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) who spoke on the 2005 legal reform outlook and Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund who released a study examining the questionable relationship between the trial bar and some state attorney generals.
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