Governor Touts Tort Reform

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Gov. Barbour spoke Wednesday in Washington to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which last year ranked the state as a "judicial hellhole'' because of high jury verdicts.

The governor's spokesman said that tomorrow in New York, Barbour will meet with Toyota Motor Company executives, speak at a business luncheon sponsored by the Mississippi Development Authority and do interviews with two business magazines and two cable networks.

Lawmakers meeting in special session last week approved a bill that makes several changes to the civil justice system, including capping pain-and-suffering damage awards at $1 million in general lawsuits and $500,000 in medical malpractice cases.

Barbour has until June 25 to sign the bill. It would become law Sept. 1.