Almost two years to the day after a Humpreys County, Mississippi court awarded Ronnie Lee Lymas a $1,679,717 judgment, the Mississippi Supreme Court set aside his award and disposed of his case.
I first wrote about the Lymas case in an earlier post on this blog — Damage Caps v. The Mississippi Constitution: Showdown at the Mississippi Supreme Court. The Lymas case gained notoriety because the lower court applied Mississippi’s damages caps. One of the key issues raised on appeal was the constitutionality of the damages cap. The possibility that Mississippi’s damages caps could be declared unconstitutional was of significant interest to businesses and lawyers throughout the country. In the end, the Court, sitting en banc, decided the case on a fundamental question of tort law and sidestepped the constitutionality issue. The Court, in an opinion written by Justice James Kitchens, found that the plaintiff failed to prove causation and that the remaining issues were moot. For now, the question of the constitutionality of Mississippi’s damage caps will remain the subject of debate for another time in another courtroom on another case.