|SB 0039||Creates procedures for disbursements from the Tort Victim's Compensation Fund|
|LR Number:||0315S.05P||Fiscal Note:||0315-05|
|Last Action:||04/19/01 - HCS Voted Do Pass H Judiciary Committee||Journal page:|
|Title:||SS#2 SCS SBs 39 & 269|
|Effective Date:||August 28, 2001|
SS#2/SCS/SBs 39 & 269 - This act establishes procedures for collection of moneys into, and disbursement of moneys from, the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund. Any person filing a punitive damages claim in a Missouri state court must notify the Attorney General of the claim. In the event of a judgment for punitive damages, the State has a lien against one-half (50%) of the punitive damages award, which shall be collected and deposited into the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund. In the event of a pre- judgment arbitration, mediation or settlement between the parties, the state has no claim or lien.
LEGAL SERVICES FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE FUND (26%) The act establishes the Legal Services for Low-Income People Fund which is to receive 26% of the moneys received by the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund. These moneys shall be distributed to legal services organizations across the state and used solely to provide legal services to local low-income persons at the discretion of the existing local governing boards. Moneys in the Fund shall not be used for any Article X refund of excess state revenue.
DIVISION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION (74%) The act directs that 74% of the moneys received by the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund be distributed to the Division of Workers' Compensation to assist uncompensated tort victims. To qualify as an "uncompensated tort victim", a person must meet several criteria, including having made diligent attempts to enforce a civil tort judgment. Incarcerated individuals, or those who were guilty of two or more felonies, at least one of which involved drugs or violence, are not eligible. Moneys in the Fund shall not be used for any Article X refund of excess state revenue.
Claims for fund proceeds must be filed with the Division within 2 years of obtaining a court judgment for personal injury or wrongful death. The act establishes application requirements for requests for disbursement of funds and it affords the Division of Workers' Compensation discretion in awarding of funds, subject to certain limitations on award amounts, including a $300,000 per award cap. The Division may determine its awards based upon the applications only, or it may hold evidentiary hearings on any claims. Failure of a medical provider to submit requested medical records to the Division shall be an infraction.
No incarcerated person may receive an award from the fund during his or her period of incarceration. No application or claim for funds constitutes a lien against the state.
A party aggrieved by a decision of the Commission may appeal within 20 days to the appellate court with jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall defend the Commission's decision. The Division shall have a lien on any compensation received by the claimant, in the event an uncompensated tort victim collects partial or total satisfaction from the tortfeasor after having received an award from the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund.
The Division of Workers' Compensation is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing application for and distribution of the funds which the Division receives from the Tort Victims' Compensation Fund.
This act is similar to SCS/HS/HCS/HB 107 (2001).