Governor Says He'll Call Special Session For Tort Reform

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove says he's calling a special legislative session late this summer to deal with the rising costs of medical malpractice insurance.

The governor made his comments Tuesday as he spoke to more than 1,200 people at a Mississippi Economic Council luncheon in Jackson.

A legislative committee has been appointed to study more extensive changes to Mississippi's civil justice system.

Musgrove said he would combine medical malpractice insurance with other civil justice reforms only if legislators work quickly enough to deliver a list of recommendations by the end of the summer.

Dr. Hugh Gamble of Greenville is president of the Mississippi State Medical Association. He said Mississippi needs extensive civil justice reforms to cap multimillion dollar punitive damages verdicts and to limit where lawsuits can be filed.

"A proposal that only addresses insurance would be a Band-Aid when we need a tourniquet," Gamble says.