COLUMBIA -- New limits on lawsuit payouts could be on Gov. Nikki Haley's desk by today.
The Senate on a voice vote Wednesday gave final approval to a measure setting punitive damage caps while House leaders said they'd go along with the limits.
In the typical case, punitive awards would be limited to $500,000 or three times the actual damages, whichever is greater. In the worst cases, punitive awards would be capped at the greater of $2 million or four times the actual damages, which includes things like lost wages and medical expenses.
The House and Haley had wanted a cap on punitive damage awards of $350,000 or triple the actual damages, whichever is greater. The House pushed that measure through months ago.
But as the Senate debated the measure Tuesday, business groups and trial lawyers struck a compromise setting limits similar to Florida's. Supporters argued the lack of punitive damage caps made South Carolina less competitive with other states.