Noneconomic Damages Reform

Problem

The broad and basically unguided discretion given juries in awarding damages for noneconomic loss is the single greatest contributor to the inequities and inefficiencies of the tort liability system.  It is a difficult issue to address objectively because of the emotions involved in cases of serious injury and because of the financial interests of plaintiffs’ lawyers. 

ATRA's Position:

ATRA supports a $250,000 limit on the award of noneconomic damages.


Opposition Opinion:

The personal injury bar’s argument against limiting noneconomic damages – that a jury’s award of noneconomic damages should not be reduced to an amount determined by legislators because a jury can determine on a case-by-case basis to what extent to compensate a plaintiff for harm suffered – fails to address the difference between noneconomic damages and economic damages, and fails to take into account the intangibility of noneconomic damages awards.  A limit on noneconomic damages limits the amount a plaintiff can recover for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium or companionship, and other intangible injuries for which it is difficult to assign a dollar amount.  Such a limit does not affect the amount a plaintiff can recover for economic damages, which include past and future medical bills, expected lost wages, and other tangible damages.    

Constitutional Amendment- Noneconomic Damages: H.J.R. 3 (Proposition 12- 2003)

Texas|2003

Provided that the Texas Legislature has the authority to place

[…]

Provided that the Texas Legislature has the authority to place limits on noneconomic damages.


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Unchallenged

Medical Liability Reform- Noneconomic Damage Limits: A.B. 1073 (2006)

Wisconsin|2006

Limited noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $750,000.

[…]

Limited noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $750,000.


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Unchallenged

Noneconomic Damages: H.B. 34 (2015)

Utah|2015

Limits the amount of damages recoverable in personal injury actions

[…]

Limits the amount of damages recoverable in personal injury actions when the injured person dies before judgment or settlement of causes unrelated to the action.  Provides that in no event shall an award of general damages against a wrongdoer or insurer exceed a specified amount of available liability, uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle coverage.


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Unchallenged

Noneconomic Damages Limit: S.B. 239 (2015)

Missouri|2015

Replaces English common law causes of action for medical malpractice

[…]

Replaces English common law causes of action for medical malpractice claims with statutory causes of action, and provides for limits on noneconomic damages for those statutory causes of action.  Limits noneconomic damages to $400,000, and $700,000 in catastrophic cases.  It also places a limit of $700,000 in wrongful death cases.


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Unchallenged

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 2122 (2003)

West Virginia|2003

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000 to $500,000 depending on the severity of the injuries.


[hide]

Challenged and Struck Down

MacDonald v. City Hosp., Inc., 715 S.E.2d 405 (W. Va. 2011).

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: AB 36 (1995)

Wisconsin|1995

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000, indexed for inflation.


[hide]

Challenged and Struck Down

The $350,000 limit on noneconomic damages awards in medical liability cases did not violate the right to jury trial, separation of powers, remedy for wrongs, equal protection, or  due process provisions of the State constitution.  Guzman v. St. Francis Hospital, Inc., 2000 WL 1848463 (Wis. App. Dec. 19, 2000).

Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 4630 (1986).

Washington|1986

Limits the award of noneconomic damages for bodily injury to

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages for bodily injury to .43% times the average annual wage times the plaintiff’s life expectancy (no less than 15 years).


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Challenged and Struck Down

The Washington Supreme Court held the limit on noneconomic damages unconstitutional in Sofie v. Fibreboard Corp., 112 Wash. 2d 636, 771 P. 2d 1989.

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 4 (2003).

Texas|2003

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000 against all doctors and health care practitioners and a $250,000 per-facility cap against health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, with an overall cap of $500,000 against health care facilities, creating in effect an overall limit of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases of $750,000.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 2008 / SB 1522 (2011);Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102.

Tennessee|2011

Limits noneconomic damages to $750,000 per occurrence in medical liability

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $750,000 per occurrence in medical liability actions, and a limit of $1 million if the injury or loss is catastrophic in nature.  The limits on noneconomic damages do not apply if the defendant acted with intent to harm, falsified records or acted under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: S. 83 (2005).

South Carolina|2005

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000 per

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000 per provider, with an overall aggregate limit of $1.05 million.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 323 (1987).

Oregon|1987

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $500,000.  The $500,000

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $500,000.  The $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages in personal injury and wrongful death actions arising out of common law violated the right to jury trial provision of the State Constitution.  Lakin v. Senco Products, Inc., 987 P.2d 463 (Or. 1999).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform- H.B. 2128 (2011), 23 Okl. St. § 61.2:

Oklahoma|2011

Reduces the limit on the amount of noneconomic damages that

[…]

Reduces the limit on the amount of noneconomic damages that may be awarded for noneconomic loss arising from a claim of bodily injury from $400,000 to $350,000.  Does not impact damages such as lost wages, medical expenses and future loss of expected wages, and lays out exceptions to the limit in case of gross negligence, reckless disregard, intentional actions, or malicious conduct.  Eliminates the establishment of the Health Care Indemnity Fund.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 1603 (2009)

Oklahoma|2009

Provides that in any civil action arising from a claimed

[…]

Provides that in any civil action arising from a claimed bodily injury, the amount of compensation which a trier of fact may award a plaintiff for noneconomic loss shall not exceed $400,000, except under certain circumstances.


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Challenged and Struck Down

Held unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in Douglas v. Cox Retirement Properties, June 2013.

Noneconomic Damages Reform: H.B. 2661 (2004).

Oklahoma|2004

Limits noneconomic damages to $300,000 in medical liability cases provided

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $300,000 in medical liability cases provided the defendant made an offer of judgment and the amount of the verdict is less than one-and-a-half times the amount of the final offer of judgment.  Indexed the limit to inflation.  Non-economic damages do not include, by definition, exemplary damages.  Limit on noneconomic damages may be lifted if nine or more members of the jury find by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed negligence or if nine or more members of the jury find by a preponderance of the evidence that the conduct of the defendant was willful or wanton.  Provides, however, that the judge must, before submitting such determination to the jury, make a threshold determination that there is evidence from which the jury could reasonably make the findings set forth in the case.  Provides that if the jury returns a verdict that is greater than $300,000 but less than one-and-a-half times the amount of the final offer of judgment, the court shall submit additional forms of possible verdicts to the jury covering possible determinations of negligence and/or willful and wanton conduct.  Provided that limits do not apply to wrongful death action.  Provisions of this section sunsets on November 1, 2010


[hide]

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: H.B. 2661 (2004).

Oklahoma|2004

Extends the sunset provision on the limit on noneconomic damages

[…]

Extends the sunset provision on the limit on noneconomic damages for ob/gyn’s and emergency care situations (S.B. 629, 2003) from July 1, 2008 until November 1, 2010.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: SB 629 (2003)

Oklahoma|2003

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $350,000 in cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $350,000 in cases involving pregnancy (labor, delivery, and post partum period) as well as emergency care.


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Unchallenged

Noneconomic Damages Reform: AM Sub SB 80 (2004).

Ohio|2004

Limits noneconomic damages in cases involving noncatastrophic injuries to the

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in cases involving noncatastrophic injuries to the greater of $250,000 or three times economic damages up to $350,000, per plaintiff, with a maximum limit of $500,000 per occurrence.  Limits applied to all cases but medical liability cases.  Specifies that juries may not consider the following when determining noneconomic damages: (1) evidence of a defendant’s alleged wrongdoing, misconduct or noneconomic guilt; (2) evidence of the defendant’s wealth or financial resources; (3) all other evidence that is offered for the purpose of punishing the defendant.  Finally, S.B. 80 specifies procedures and guidelines, based on ALEC’s Full and Fair Noneconomic Damages Act, for trial courts to review (upon a motion) noneconomic damages awards.


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Challenged and Upheld

The limit on noneconomic damages was upheld in  Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson et.al., 116 Ohio St. 3d 468, (2007).

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: SB 281 (2003); ORC Ann. 2323.43.

Ohio|2003

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000, with a provision to allow the cap to rise to $1 million, depending on the severity of the injuries and the number of plaintiffs involved in the suit.


[hide]

Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 350 (1996).

Ohio|1996

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to the greater of

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to the greater of $250,000 or three times economic damages to a maximum of $500,000, unless there is a finding that a plaintiff suffered: (1) a permanent and severe physical deformity; or (2) a permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents her from being able to independently care for herself and perform life sustaining activities.  Provides that if a plaintiff establishes the criteria set forth above, noneconomic damages are limited to the greater of $1 million or $35,000 times the number of years remaining in the plaintiff’s expected life.


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Challenged and Struck Down

The comprehensive 1996 tort reform law violated the doctrine of separation of powers and the one-subject provision of the State Constitution.  State ex rel. Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers v. Sheward, 715 N.E.2d 1062 (Ohio 1999).

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: AB 1 (2002).

Nevada|2002

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000, except

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000, except upon a showing of “gross malpractice” or a judicial determination that there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the noneconomic award should exceed the cap.


[hide]

Medical Liability Reform: Emergency Room Liability: AB 1 (2002).

Nevada|2002

Limits damages in medical liability cases against emergency room physicians

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Limits damages in medical liability cases against emergency room physicians to $50,000.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 513 (1986).

New Hampshire|1986

Limits noneconomic damages to $875,000.

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $875,000.


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Challenged and Struck Down

The New Hampshire Supreme Court held this statute unconstitutional in Brannigan v. Usitalo, No. 90‑377, March 13, 1991.

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform:

New Hampshire

A New Hampshire law setting a $250,000 limit on noneconomic

[…]

A New Hampshire law setting a $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases was held unconstitutional in Carson v. Maurer, 424 A.2d 825 (N.H. 1980). A $875,000 cap on noneconomic damages was held unconstitutional in Brannigan v. Usitalso, 587 A.2d 1232 (N.H. 1980)).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 1050 (1995): N.D. Cent. Code. § 32-42-02.

North Dakota|1995

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $500,000.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 33 (2011);N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-21.19.

North Carolina|2011

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $500,000 against

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $500,000 against all defendants.  The limit is subject to adjustments, every three years starting on January 1, 2014, based on the Consumer Price Index.  The legislation does provide for an exception to the limit if: (1) the plaintiff suffered disfigurement, loss of use of part of the body, permanent injury or death; and (2) the defendant’s acts or failures, which are the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, were committed in reckless disregard of the rights of others, grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional or with malice.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 309 (1995): Mont. Code Ann. § 25‑9‑411.

Montana|1995

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: H.B. 13 (special session) (2004); Amended Miss. Code Ann. § 11-1-60.

Mississippi|2004

Establishes a hard cap of $500,000 on noneconomic damages in

[…]

Establishes a hard cap of $500,000 on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases (the $500,000 cap that was passed during a special session in 2002 contained an escalator clause which would have raised the cap to $750,000 in 2011 and $1 million in 2017).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: H.B. 13 (special session); Amended Miss. Code Ann. § 11-1-60.

Mississippi

Limits the recovery of noneconomic damages in all civil cases,

[…]

Limits the recovery of noneconomic damages in all civil cases, with the exception of medical liability actions, to $1 million.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: H.B.2 (special session) (2002); Amended Miss. Code Ann. § 85-5-7.

Mississippi|2002

Limits noneconomic damages to $500,000 until July 1, 2011, $750,000

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $500,000 until July 1, 2011, $750,000 from July 1, 2011 until July 1, 2017, and $1 million after July 1, 2017, not adjusted for inflation, unless a judge were to determine that a jury could impose punitive damages. Prohibits the disclosure to a jury of the noneconomic damages limit.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: H.B. 393 (2005).

Missouri|1995

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to a nonadjustable

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to a nonadjustable limit of $350,000 regardless of the number of defendants in the case.


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Challenged and Struck Down

Held unconstitutional by Missouri Supreme Court in Watts ex rel. Watts v. Lester E. Cox Med. Ctrs., 376 S.W.3d 633 (Mo.2012).

Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 2078 (1986).

Minnesota|1986

Limits the award of damages for loss of consortium, emotional

[…]

Limits the award of damages for loss of consortium, emotional distress, or embarrassment to $400,000.  The $400,000 limit on damages for embarrassment, emotional distress, and loss of consortium did not violate “certain remedy” clause of the State Constitution.  Schweich v. Ziegler, Inc., 463 N.W.2d 722 (Minn. 1990).


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: SB 270/H 2 (1993)

Michigan|1993

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $280,000 for ordinary occurrences, and $500,000 if the claimant has suffered brain damage, spinal cord damage, damage to the reproductive system which prevents procreation, or injury to cognitive ability that leaves the plaintiff unable to live alone.


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Unchallenged

Noneconomic Damages Reform: Uninsured Drivers: HB 714 (2001); Amended Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 17-107.

Maryland|2001

Provides that an individual driving a motor vehicle that is

[…]

Provides that an individual driving a motor vehicle that is not covered by insurance is considered to have waived the right to recover noneconomic damages under specified circumstances.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: Wrongful Death: SB 283 (1994): Md. Cts. & Jud. Pro. §11-108.

Maryland|1994

Limits noneconomic damages in wrongful death actions to $500,000.  In

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in wrongful death actions to $500,000.  In cases where there are two or more beneficiaries, the limit is $700,000.  The reform somewhat counters the effect of the Streidel decision, which held that Maryland’s $350,000 limit on noneconomic damages did not apply in wrongful death actions.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: Public Entity Lawsuits: SB 237 (1987).

Maryland|1987

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in public entity lawsuits

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Limits the award of noneconomic damages in public entity lawsuits to $200,000 per person and $500,000 per incident.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 558 (1986)

Maryland|1986

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $500,000.

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $500,000.


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Challenged and Upheld

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland upheld the constitutionality of the noneconomic damages limit in Potomac Electric Co. v. Smith, 79 Md. App. 591, 558 A.2d 768 1989. 

The $350,000 limit on noneconomic damages in personal injury actions did not violate the equal protection or right to jury trial provisions of the State Constitution.  Murphy v. Edmonds, 601 A.2d 102 (Md. 1992).

Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 2692 (1988): Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 60-1902, 60-1903.

Kansas|1988

Limits noneconomic damages to $250,000.  The Kansas Health Care Provider

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $250,000.  The Kansas Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act provision setting a $250,000 limit on noneconomic losses in health care liability actions did not violate the  right to a jury trial or due process provisions of the State Constitution.  Samsel v. Wheeler Transport Services, Inc., 789 P.2d 541 (Kan. 1990).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 2692 (1987).

Kansas|1987

Limits the award of damages for pain and suffering to

[…]

Limits the award of damages for pain and suffering to $250,000.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 475 (2005).

Illinois|2005

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $500,000 per

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $500,000 per physician and $1 million per hospital.


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Challenged and Struck Down

Held unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in LeBron v. Gottlieb Mem. Hosp., 930 N.E.2d 895 (Ill. 2010).

Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 20 (1995).

Illinois|1995

Limits noneconomic damages to $500,000.  The reform violates the State

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $500,000.  The reform violates the State Constitutional prohibition against special legislation and separation of powers provision of the State Constitution.  Best v. Taylor Machine Works, Inc., 689 N.E.2d 1057 (Ill. 1997).


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Challenged and Struck Down

Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 574 (1990).

Idaho|1990

Removes the 1992 sunset to the $400,000 limit on non-economic

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Removes the 1992 sunset to the $400,000 limit on non-economic damages enacted in 1987.


[hide]

Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 92 (2003)

Idaho|2003

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in personal injury cases

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages in personal injury cases to $250,000.


[hide]

Unchallenged

Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 1223 (1987): Idaho Code Ann. § 6-1603.

Idaho|1987

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $400,000. Provides a

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $400,000. Provides a sunset in June 1992.  The $400,000 cap on noneconomic damages in personal injury and wrongful death actions did not violate the right to jury trial, constitute special legislation, or violate the separation of powers doctrine under the State Constitution.  Kirkland v. Blaine County Medical Center, 4 P.3d 1115 (Idaho 2000).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HF 2525 (2000); Iowa Code § 613.20.

Iowa|2000

Prohibits a motorist, passenger or pedestrian from collecting noneconomic damages

[…]

Prohibits a motorist, passenger or pedestrian from collecting noneconomic damages for injuries sustained in an automobile crash caused during the commission of a felony.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB S1 (special session) (1986): Sunset provision (SB 1529) enacted in 1991: Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 663-8.7, 663-10.9(2).

Hawaii|1986

Limits noneconomic damages for physical pain and suffering to $375,000.

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages for physical pain and suffering to $375,000.


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Medical Liability Reform/Noneconomic Damages Reform: S.B. 3 (2005).

Georgia|2005

Limits noneconomic damages to $350,000 per healthcare provider, with an

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $350,000 per healthcare provider, with an overall aggregate limit of $1.05 million.


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Challenged and Struck Down

The Georgia Supreme Court found the limit on noneconomic damages unconstitutional in Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, PC v. Nestlehutt, et. al, 286 Ga. 731, 691 S.E.2d 218. (2010).

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: CS SB 2-D (special session 2003).

Florida|2003

Provides for emergency room practitioner limits on noneconomic damages of

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Provides for emergency room practitioner limits on noneconomic damages of $150,000 per claimant, with an aggregate of $300,000.  Provides for emergency room facility limits on noneconomic damages of $750,000 per claimant, with an aggregate of $1.5 million and full setoffs for practitioner payments.  Provides for non-practitioner limits on noneconomic damages of $750,000 per claimant, with an aggregate for all claimants.  Provides for practitioner limits on noneconomic damages of $500,000 per claimant, with an aggregate limit for all claimants of $1 million, but no single practitioner shall be liable for more than $500,000 regardless of the number of claimants.


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Challenged and Struck Down

The Florida Supreme Court held the limit on noneconomic damages unconstitutional in Estate of McCall v. United States, 134 So. 3d 894 (Fla. 2014).

Automobile Liability Reform: HB 775 (1999).

Florida|1999

Limits the liability of an owner or lessor of an

[…]

Limits the liability of an owner or lessor of an automobile to $100,000 per person or $300,000 per incident for bodily injury, and $50,000 for property damage.  Limits the liability of an uninsured or under-insured person to $500,000 for economic damages only.  The reform does not apply in cases involving commercial vehicles used in the ordinary course of business and the transportation of hazardous materials.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages: CS/SB6 (1988): Fla. Stat. §§ 766.207, 766.209.

Florida|1988

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $250,000 in

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Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $250,000 in arbitration.  Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000, if the plaintiff refuses to arbitrate.  Sets no limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases, where neither party demands binding arbitration, or where the defendant refuses to arbitrate.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 465 (1986).

Florida|1986

Limits noneconomic damages to $450,000.  The limit on noneconomic damages

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages to $450,000.  The limit on noneconomic damages is unconstitutional.  Smith v. Department of Insurance, 507 So.2d 1080 (Fla. 1987).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: S.B. 115 (2004).

Colorado|2004

Limits noneconomic damages in breach of contract claims by specifying

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Limits noneconomic damages in breach of contract claims by specifying that noneconomic damages may only be recovered for breach of contract when recovery of such damages is specifically authorized in the contract that is the subject of the claim.  The only other circumstance under which noneconomic damages may be recovered is for any first-party claim brought against an insurer for breach of an insurance contract and that the defendant willfully and wantonly breached the contract.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: S.B. 115 (2004).

Colorado|2004

Limits noneconomic damages in breach of contract claims by specifying

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Limits noneconomic damages in breach of contract claims by specifying that noneconomic damages may only be recovered for breach of contract when recovery of such damages is specifically authorized in the contract that is the subject of the claim.  The only other circumstance under which noneconomic damages may be recovered is for any first-party claim brought against an insurer for breach of an insurance contract and that the defendant willfully and wantonly breached the contract.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 03-1007 (2003).

Colorado|2003

Limits noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $300,000.

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $300,000.


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Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 143 (1988)

Colorado|1988

Limits the total award of damages to $1,000,000, of which

[…]

Limits the total award of damages to $1,000,000, of which no more than $250,000 can be for noneconomic damages.


[hide]

Challenged and Upheld

The $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability actions is constitutional.  Scholz v. Metropolitan Pathologists, P.C., No. 92‑8A277, Co. Sup. Ct., April 26, 1993.

Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 67 (1986).

Colorado|1986

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $250,000, unless the

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $250,000, unless the court finds justification by “clear and convincing” evidence for a larger award not to exceed $500,000.


[hide]

Challenged and Upheld

The $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability actions is constitutional.  Scholz v. Metropolitan Pathologists, P.C., No. 92‑8A277, Co. Sup. Ct., April 26, 1993.

Medical Liability Reform: Noneconomic Damages Reform: The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA): (1975): Cal. Civ. Code § 333.2.

California|1975

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $250,000.  The

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $250,000.  The $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability actions does not violate the equal protection or due process provisions of the State or Federal Constitutions.  Fein v. Permanente Medical Group, 695 P.2d 665 (Cal.), appeal dismissed, 474 U.S. 892 (1985).


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: (1987).

Alabama|1987

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $400,000.

[…]

Limits the award of noneconomic damages to $400,000.


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Challenged and Struck Down

The statute setting a $400,000 limit on noneconomic damages awards in health care liability actions violated the right to a jury trial and equal protection provisions of the State Constitution.  Moore v. Mobile Infirmary Association, 592 So. 2d 156 (Ala. 1991).

Medical Liability Reform: Wrongful Death: (1987).

Alabama|1987

Limits damages in wrongful death actions to $1 million.

[…]

Limits damages in wrongful death actions to $1 million.


[hide]

Medical Liability Reform/Noneconomic Damages Reform: S.B. 67 (2005).

Alaska|2005

Lowers the limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases

[…]

Lowers the limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $250,000.  In the most severe cases involving disfigurement, severe permanent physical impairment, and wrongful death, the limit on noneconomic damages is $400,000.  The previous limit on noneconomic damages ranged from $400,000 to $1 million, depending on the severity of the injuries.


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Noneconomic Damages Reform: HB 58 (1997)

Alaska|1997

Limits noneconomic damages awarded for most single injuries or deaths

[…]

Limits noneconomic damages awarded for most single injuries or deaths to the greater of $400,000 or the injured person’s life expectancy in years multiplied by $8,000.  Limits noneconomic damages for personal injuries involving permanent physical impairment or severe disfigurement to the greater of $1,000,000 or the person’s life expectancy in years multiplied by $25,000.


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Challenged and Upheld

The reform did not violate the right to a jury trial, the right to equal protection, or the right to substantive due process in the State or Federal Constitutions, the separation of powers doctrine, or the right of access to the courts or ban on “special legislation” in the State Constitution).  Evans v. State, 2002 WL 1998141 (Alaska Aug. 30, 2002).

Noneconomic Damages Reform: SB 337 (1986).

Alaska|1986

Establishes a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages for cases not

[…]

Establishes a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages for cases not involving physical impairment or disfigurement.


[hide]