Tort Reform Legislation Passes House and Senate

The tort reform package developed by a coalition of business interests and promoted by the Republican Party has passed the Tennessee House and Senate.  The bill was aggressively promoted by the Governor’s Office and thus will be signed into law in the next few days.

The Legislation creates many changes to the law, but here are a few low points:

  • Changes to venue rules that will limit the places where corporations can be sued.
  • Expands the notion of medical malpractice cases to capture all claims against nursing homes.
  • Caps non-economic damages to $750,000 in most cases and $1,000,000 in rare cases.
  • Limits the bond that must be posted on appeal for losing defendants.
  • Eliminates the need to post a bond on punitive damages.
  • Limits the imposition of punitive damages.
  • Removes securities claims from the TCPA.
  • Removes the ability of consumers to bring TCPA claims for other than certain listed unfair and deceptive acts.
  • Offers increased protections to manufacturers of products

The legislation applies to causes of action that accrue after October 1, 2011.  I will post a copy of the bill in its final form next week.