WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today praised Governor Haley Barbour and the Mississippi Legislature for passing a comprehensive legal reform bill that will dramatically improve the state’s unfair legal system and encourage business development and expansion.
“This is an important victory for the people of Mississippi,” said Donohue. “Governor Barbour, Lt. Governor Tuck and the leaders of both houses of the legislature are to be commended for doing the right thing.”
HB 13 passed the House by a vote of 75-39 and the Senate by a vote of 37-11 and will be delivered to the Governor for his signature, following a procedural vote by the House. The bill includes important provisions regarding venue, joint and several liability, caps on non-economic damages and innocent seller protections.
“Bipartisan legal reform is essential to weeding out the frivolous and abusive lawsuits that are clogging our courts. I hope other states like Illinois, West Virginia and California will follow the positive example set by Mississippi. Businesses go where they are wanted and bring jobs and economic growth to the states with the best legal system,” concluded Donohue.
A public opinion survey released last week by Governor Barbour showed that 79 percent of Mississippians wanted the legislature to change the state’s legal system. Mississippi has been ranked 50th among the fifty states in the annual U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform/Harris State Liability Ranking Study for the last three years.
The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.