Tennessee Latest State to Have Tort Limits Challenged

The attorney of a teen hurt in a four-wheeler accident is challenging the constitutionality of Tennessee law that caps damages on tort suits, claiming it violates the right to trial by jury enshrined in the Tennessee Constitution. According to the ABA Journal, under the Civil Justice Act of 2011, noneconomic damages are capped at $750,000 and punitive damages at either twice the amount of compensatory damages or at $500,000, whichever is greater. Tennessee is only one of several states where damage cap legislation is being challenged in court. While the Missouri Supreme Court ruled the noneconomic damage limits were unconstitutional, the Kansas court upheld a cap as a way to further the public interest in ensuring affordable and available health care and reduce the cost of malpractice insurance.