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Non-Economic Damages Issue Certified
In Learmonth v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 09-60651, an action claiming that defendant department store caused plaintiff injuries in an automobile accident, the Fifth Circuit certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Mississippi: "Is Section 11-1-60(2) of the Mississippi Code, which generally limits non-economic damages to $1 million in civil cases, constitutional?"
As the court wrote: "A jury found Sears, Roebuck and Company liable for causing Lisa Learmonth's injuries in an automobile accident and awarded her $4 million in compensatory damages. The district court denied Sears' motion for a new trial, but remitted the non-economic damages portion of the award to $1 million pursuant to Mississippi's statutory cap on non-economic damages. Sears appeals the district court's denial of its motion for new trial; Learmonth cross-appeals the constitutionality of the Mississippi statutory cap."