Tort Reform Hearing

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Tort Reform was the topic of a public meeting at the University of Southern Mississippi Aug. 1. A joint legislative committee is gathering information from all sides. Doctors say it's becoming more and more difficult to get affordable malpractice insurance and business groups say large jury verdicts are hurting the economic climate.

"Do we have a crisis? That's the issue that's before us right now," said attorney Jim Colingo. "Yes absolutely we do. I personally represent doctors who are presently denied insurance, and who are either going to have to move or stop practicing. It's a fact, not fiction. It's an occurrence that is happening daily."

Opponents of Tort Reform say it's unnecessary because large verdicts are rare and Mississippi's are well below the average. The study committee will conduct another hearing in Jackson and then submit recommendations to the governor. Musgrove has said he might call a special session for late august to deal with Tort Reform.