A recent state Supreme Court decision threw out the 500,000 cap on general damage suits against state and local governments.

"This will unquestionably impact the coffers of state and local government" said the Louisiana Municipal Association, a group representing cities in the state.

The ruling came on Sept. 3, when the Louisiana high court in Chamberlain v. Department of Transportation and Development ruled unconstitutional the $500,000 limit on the amount plaintiffs may recover in personal injury damage suits against the state and its political subdivisions.

Reversing an appellate court decision, the state Supreme Court found that a statutory ceiling on general damages violates Article XII, Section 10(A) of the state constitution, which holds that "neither the state, a state agency, nor a political subdivision shall be immune from suit and liability in contract or from injury to person or property."

The $500,000 limit was set in 1985 when the state Legislature passed a major tort reform package.

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