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Haslam’s Tort Bill Clears House Judiciary

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to limit lawsuit damages in Tennessee has passed a key House panel.
The measure (HB2008) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote Tuesday. The companion bill was to be heard by the same committee in the Senate later in the day.
The Republican governor originally sought to place a $750,000 limit on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. But the measure that advanced would raise the cap to $1 million in cases involving serious spinal cord injuries, severe burns or the death of a parent of minor children.
Haslam has said he wants to create a comfortable environment for businesses.
Opponents of the measure say damages help hold companies accountable and that a jury should award the amount.
UPDATE: The bill also came up for a marathon discussion in the Senate Judiciary Committee, though a vote was postponed until next week. For more, see Joe White.
TNReport, meanwhile, has a story on a conference call debate on tort reform that shows not all conservatives are singing the same song on the issue.