|SB 0129||Modifies joint and several liability, the collateral source rules of evidence, and punitive damages|
|LR Number:||0328S.01I||Fiscal Note:||0328-01|
|Last Action:||01/23/01 - Hearing Conducted S Judiciary Committee||Journal page:|
|Effective Date:||August 28, 2001|
SB 129 - This act requires admissibility of evidence which is presented after the entry of a favorable verdict, but prior to the entry of a final judgment establishing that pre-trial payments were made on the plaintiff's claim from collateral sources (such as liability insurance companies). It also requires the court to remit (reduce) the judgment by the amount of any such collateral payments. The amount of the remittance is to be reduced by insurance premium costs.
The act prohibits any award of punitive damages from exceeding one and one-half time the amount of actual and compensatory damages awarded in cases arising after January 1, 2001.
Additionally, current law mandates that each defendant in a civil tort action for damages shall be jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of the judgment. This act stratifies the applicability of joint and several liability depending upon the percentage of fault assessed against each individual defendant, such that:
A defendant whose fault is found to be 1-15% shall only be liable for his assessed fault-percentage of the judgment;
A defendant whose fault is found to be 16-25% shall be liable for up to double his assessed fault-percentage of the judgment;
A defendant whose fault is found to exceed 25% shall be jointly and severally liable for the full amount of the judgment.
The above provisions do not apply to limit the pure joint
and several liability of defendants when two or more of them act
in concert or conspired to act in concert.