Arkansas House Votes To Place Tort Reform Proposal On Ballot

Feb 28, 2017

Outside the Arkansas House chamber in the state Capitol building.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas House has voted to place on the ballot a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ask voters to limit some attorney's fees and punitive damages in lawsuits.

The House voted 66-30 Monday for the joint resolution and sent it back to the state Senate to consider a House amendment. A previous version of the proposal passed the Senate earlier.

Supporters say the proposal would reduce legal judgments against health care providers, which they say would lead to a decrease in medical malpractice insurance rates.

If eventually approved by voters, the proposal would cap punitive and non-economic damages, as well as limit attorneys' contingency fees in civil cases. It would also allow the Legislature to amend, adopt or repeal court rules with a three-fifths vote.