SB 0684 Modifies joint and several liability, the collateral sources rule and punitive damages
LR Number:2442S.02I Fiscal Note:2442-02
Last Action:02/23/00 - Hearing Conducted S Judiciary Committee Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 2000
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Available Summaries | Senate Home Page | List of 2000 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

SB 684 - This act modifies the existing common law on joint and several liability, the collateral sources rule and caps punitive damages.

Current law regarding joint and several liability requires any one defendant to be liable for up to 100% of the damages if money cannot be collected from other defendants. This act modifies joint and several liability by percentages such that the percentage of fault attributed to a single defendant will determine his percentage of liability. The percentages are:

a) 1-15% fault - individual defendant is not jointly liable; b) 16-25% fault - defendant can be jointly liable by doubling the percentage of fault up to 50%; c) Over 25% - defendant is jointly liable up to 100%.

The above limits are not applicable when the defendants acted in concert or conspired to so act.

The current collateral source rule restricts evidence and reduction of awards regardless of collateral payments to the plaintiff (health insurance, workers' compensation). The act requires reduction of the award by collateral payments, minus premiums paid or lien/subrogation amounts.

The act also requires that punitive damages in any case may not exceed one and a half times compensatory damages.