Arkansas lawmakers file proposal to allow damage limits

Arkansas lawmakers file proposal to allow damage limits
The high court is expected to decide in the next few days whether the state can begin enforcing a law requiring doctors who work at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It was passed in 2014, but has never taken effect. (Source: Raycom Image Bank)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers are proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to limit damages awarded in lawsuits.

That comes after a more-expansive "tort reform" measure was disqualified from last year's ballot.

Republican Sen. Bart Hester and Rep. Jon Eubanks on Tuesday proposed putting on next year's ballot a proposed amendment to allow the Legislature to limit punitive and noneconomic damages awarded in lawsuits. Wednesday is the deadline for lawmakers to file proposed constitutional amendments. The Legislature can refer up to three proposals for next year.

In 2017, the Legislature referred to voters a proposal to limit damages and attorneys’ contingency fees and give lawmakers control over state court rules. However, the state Supreme Court disqualified the measure in October, ruling it unconstitutionally combined separate proposals.