Lawmakers Continue Talks

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Both houses met briefly Wednesday. Talks are being conducted among a handful of House and Senate members who have been involved in tort reform issues since a special session convened Sept. 5.

Senate committee chairman, Bennie Turner, says some progress has been made on what issues will be addressed. Turner says differences continue over venue and caps on punitive damages.

Some members of the Legislative Black Caucus called Wednesday for no action on tort reform. They say they oppose efforts to block Mississippians from having their day in court to right a wrong.

Generally, the House has passed higher punitive damage caps than the Senate. On the issue of venue, the House wants a lawsuit to be filed in the county where the alleged wrongful act occurred or where the individual filing the lawsuit lives. The Senate wants the lawsuit to be filed where the action occurred.

Business liability reforms have been supported by Mississippi businesses, which cite the state's reputation for large jury awards.

The House and Senate return to work Thursday at 10 a.m.