Punitive Damages Reform: SB 482 (1995).
Requires 40% of punitive damages awards to be paid to
Requires 40% of punitive damages awards to be paid to the prevailing party, 60% to the state fund, and no more than 20% to the attorney of the prevailing party. Requires a plaintiff to show by “clear and convincing” evidence that a defendant “acted with malice or has shown a reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and has acted with a conscious indifference to the health, safety and welfare of others.” Provides for court review of jury-awarded punitive damages. Bars the claiming of punitive damages in an original complaint. Requires a plaintiff to show a prima facie case for liability before amending a complaint to include a punitive damages claim. The split-recovery statute allocating 60% of punitive damages award to the state did not violate the right to a remedy, the right to a jury trial, the takings or tax provisions, or the separation of powers under the State Constitution.
This op-ed was originally published by Agri-Pulse. Mass tort litigation has become a multi-billion-dollar industry for trial lawyers over the past several decades as they’ve targeted everything from tobacco and […]
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