With a few days left in this year’s session, the Senate has taken up one of the year’s most talked-about bills. The measure commonly called “tort reform” will make some changes to how civil suits are resolved in the state–the most significant being a cap on damages meant to punish a losing defendant. The current proposal caps punitive damages at $350,000 or three times the compensatory, or corrective, award.
Martin’s measure stalled at the end of the past session. This year, Martin has the active and outspoken support of Gov. Nikki Haley, who has called for caps.
Senator Vincent Sheheen, an attorney, questions that there are any state cases resulting in awards that would justify the call for caps.
Punitive damages are awarded to victims in cases of wrongdoing or negligence.