High court turns away challenge to tort reform law

(June 18, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The state Supreme Court has refused to consider a lawsuit challenging a new law that limits the amount of money rewarded in civil cases. The high court said it didn't have the jurisdiction to hear the original action. The plaintiffs, who include trial lawyers and advocates for nursing home residents, filed the lawsuit directly to the state Supreme Court without first being filed to a circuit court. The plaintiffs were challenging the law because they said it was unconstitutional. They said the law goes against a constitutional provision that prohibits limiting damages in all but workers compensation cases. The Civil Justice Reform Act, among other things, set a one million dollar limit on punitive damages in civil cases.