Legislative panel postpones vote on lawsuit reform bill

Benji Easler, 6, of Gaffney, was killed when the train derailed

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A legislative panel has postponed a vote on a bill that would exclude medical expenses from the $600,000 per-event liability cap that protects the government from paying unlimited damages, regardless of the number of government entities involved.

The bill discussed Wednesday also limits damages related to pain and suffering to $50,000 per person.

The discussion about changing the limits began last year when a children's train ride crashed at a Spartanburg park, killing one child and injuring dozens of other people. Families affected by the derailment said they faced mounting medical bills and, as a group, would only to be able to recover a total of $600,000 from public agencies.

One family sued, accusing county officials of not adequately supervising the train operator or inspecting the park's tracks.

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