Conferees Stall on Reform

Mississippi's special legislative session has adjourned until Monday. Lawmakers say they're going to let conferees meet until they reach an agreement on civil justice reform legislation.

The apparent snag now in the House is a plan to protect retailers from being dragged into lawsuits over products that cause injury. Ironically, a majority in the House previously agreed to the "innocent seller" amendment.

"The fact that the House conferees want to remove House language is different and somewhat exasperating to the rank and file members because we voted for it," said Rep. Greg Snowden of Meridian, who authored the original "innocent seller" amendment. "The House would like to see it stay. I remain confident, I think truly, we're going to have something early next week."

Business groups say the limitations would cut insurance costs, attorney fees and other expenses associated with doing business in Mississippi. Trial lawyers and consumer groups say limitations would strip injured individuals of their right to sue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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