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Tort reform cap is crucial to Miss. future

In these parts the term “judicial hellhole” is one many understand.

A decade ago, our close neighbors to the north, in Jefferson County, were center stage in what led to a statewide call for reform in our judicial system.

A Jefferson County pharmacist was named in more than 1,000 lawsuits, and a jury awarded $1 billion to the family of a woman who died from a weight-loss drug.

That was before tort reform.

Now tort reform laws put a $1 million cap on non-economic damages in such cases. It was a move that not only stopped ridiculous lawsuits that padded the pockets of filthy rich lawyers, but one that, many argue, saved the economy of our state.

Now, a lawsuit to scrap the cap awaits action.

Thankfully, Gov. Phil Bryant chimed in this week, issuing a response to the lawsuit in support of the law.

It should absolutely be the priority of our state’s top leader to do what he can to keep the cap in place. Eliminating the cap could cripple our health care system, send our doctors packing to nearby states and close down health-care related industries that employ thousands.

No ruling on the matter is expected immediately, but we hope the Fifth Circuit Court understands how important its answer is to Mississippi.