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Pending Lawsuit Cap Prompts Okla. Courthouse Rush (Oct 31, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A new cap on pain and suffering damages that a plaintiff can receive in a bodily injury lawsuit is prompting a flood of civil case filings at courthouses across Oklahoma.

The new $350,000 cap on non-economic damages is scheduled to take effect Tuesday.

Carlene Voss is the head of the civil division at the Tulsa County Courthouse. She described her office Monday as a "madhouse."

Voss says more than 180 civil cases were filed there on Friday, compared to about 50 civil cases on an average day.

Similar spikes were reported at courthouses across the state.

Supporters of the cap say it will reduce insurance costs for businesses and doctors, but opponents argue it will prevent injured Oklahomans from being properly compensated for their damages.

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