Looking back on the past legislative session, attorneys mostly see just one bill: HB 3375, the S.C. Fairness in Civil Justice Act – commonly called the tort reform bill.
Pushed by business groups and conservatives in the legislature, the bill imposes caps on punitive damages to be awarded in tort cases, with some exceptions. It gave Mike Hemlepp, executive director of the South Carolina Association for Justice, a big case of heartburn. As part of an organization that represents trial lawyers, Hemlepp said that he and his group are, on principal, opposed to tort reform and caps of any kind.
“We trust juries,” he said. “Anything that interferes with a jury’s ability to make a judgment, we are opposed to it.”
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