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Okla. Courthouses Report a Last-Minute Rush to File Lawsuits in Advance of Damage Caps

Posted Nov 1, 2011 8:52 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Oklahoma lawyers were rushing to file lawsuits on Monday in advance of a new cap on damages.

More than 400 lawsuits were filed at the Oklahoma County District Courthouse, compared to 50 to 70 personal injury lawsuits on a typical day, NewsOK reports. Deputy clerk Megan McWilliams said the day was so busy it rated “an 11” on a 1-to-10 scale.

Filings were also brisk in Oklahoma’s Cleveland County, the Norman Transcript reports.

The new law caps damages for pain and suffering at $350,000. Lawyer David Bernstein told the Norman Transcript the limit could eventually be overturned in the courts. “In Oklahoma, we have a constitutional right to trial by jury without limitations,” he said. “Many states that have looked at similar laws capping pain and suffering have found said limitation to be unconstitutional.”

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