Special Session

By  | 

A half dozen Mississippi House and Senate negotiators left the Capitol Saturday without reaching a compromise on a civil justice bill.

The full Legislature returns to Jackson Sunday afternoon, and it's not clear if they'll have a bill to vote on by then.

One of the main sticking points is over capping pain-and-suffering awards.

The House on Thursday approved a one million dollar cap for the awards only in medical malpractice cases, allowing judges to ignore the cap if gross negligence is found.

The Senate on Friday approved a $250,000 cap on the pain-and-suffering awards in all types of civil lawsuits -- without exceptions.

On Saturday, the Senate offered a compromise pain-and-suffering cap of $500,000 for all types of civil lawsuits. Exceptions would be allowed in some cases, and judges could let juries award up to one million dollars.

Senators also offered to back off their plan to cap punitive damages in all types of lawsuits. The House had not addressed punitive awards.