A bill to change how civil lawsuits are tried and sentenced in South Carolina is under review by a Senate panel. The House approved its bill in early March by 104-9 vote. The measure would put a cap on the amount juries could award to punish a business or person for negligence. The punitive damages could be $350,000 or three times compensatory damages, whichever is greater. Appearing on ETV’s “This Week In the Senate,” Senate Judiciary subcommittee member Luke Rankin (R-Horry) said he is not fully convinced that the state’s ability to recruit businesses has been hurt by current law.
Rankin says the measure sends the message that the jury system and those citizens who serve on juries cannot make sound and fair decisions in cases involving negligence:
Beaufort County Republican Tom Davis says the bill seeks to level the playing field for South Carolina to better compete with neighboring states in recruiting businesses. Davis says when the bill reaches the Senate floor, the debate will not be focused on the proposed cap, but on the possible exceptions to the cap.