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June 25, 2014

Cochran Wins Primary Run-Off In Race In Which Legal Reform a Key Issue

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran defeated challenger Chris McDaniel in the Primary Election run-off on Tuesday in a campaign in which legal reform played a key role.

As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported, the U.S. Chamber ran ads in the state focused on McDaniel’s experience as a plaintiffs’ attorney, and his opposition to the legal reforms enacted under former Governor Haley Barbour.

“He exploited the legal system to disregard tort reform legislation that included a cap on punitive damages. HB 13 was passed in 2004 and introduced a cap on noneconomic damages in plaintiff awards,” according to a U.S. Chamber statement reported on by the Clarion-Ledger. “The bill is considered to be the most comprehensive tort reform package Mississippi has seen to date. McDaniel argued that the punitive damaged caps set in place by HB 13 were unconstitutional and as a result, over $25 million in non-economic damages were awarded.”

As of this morning, unofficial returns showed Cochran had received 50.8% of the vote, compared to 49.2% for McDaniel. Senator Cochran will face former Congressman Travis Childers in the General Election.

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