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State Senate Votes for $250k Limit on Jury Awards (Feb 23, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has approved a bill to limit pain and suffering awards to $250,000, despite concerns from members that the decision should be made by juries.

The Senate voted 29-18 Wednesday for the bill by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore. The measure now heads to the House for consideration.

Leaders in the Republican-controlled House and Senate have said such changes are needed to reduce the insurance costs that doctors and businesses pay.

But the bill came under fire from Democrats and Republicans who say they feared injured Oklahomans wouldn't be properly compensated for damages.

Claremore Democrat Sen. Sean Burrage asked whether it was worth $250,000 to be horribly disfigured or lose the ability to walk.

The proposal doesn't limit actual damages, like medical costs or loss of income.

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