CHAPTER 900
COURT PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-190a. Prior reasonable inquiry and certificate of good faith required in negligence action against a health care provider. Ninety-day extension of statute of limitations.
Sec. 52-192a. Offer of compromise by plaintiff. Acceptance by defendant. Amount and computation of interest.
Sec. 52-225a. Reduction in economic damages in personal injury and wrongful death actions for collateral source payments.

      Sec. 52-190a. Prior reasonable inquiry and certificate of good faith required in negligence action against a health care provider. Ninety-day extension of statute of limitations. (a) No civil action or apportionment complaint shall be filed to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987, whether in tort or in contract, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, unless the attorney or party filing the action or apportionment complaint has made a reasonable inquiry as permitted by the circumstances to determine that there are grounds for a good faith belief that there has been negligence in the care or treatment of the claimant. The complaint, initial pleading or apportionment complaint shall contain a certificate of the attorney or party filing the action or apportionment complaint that such reasonable inquiry gave rise to a good faith belief that grounds exist for an action against each named defendant or for an apportionment complaint against each named apportionment defendant. To show the existence of such good faith, the claimant or the claimant's attorney, and any apportionment complainant or the apportionment complainant's attorney, shall obtain a written and signed opinion of a similar health care provider, as defined in section 52-184c, which similar health care provider shall be selected pursuant to the provisions of said section, that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence and includes a detailed basis for the formation of such opinion. Such written opinion shall not be subject to discovery by any party except for questioning the validity of the certificate. The claimant or the claimant's attorney, and any apportionment complainant or apportionment complainant's attorney, shall retain the original written opinion and shall attach a copy of such written opinion, with the name and signature of the similar health care provider expunged, to such certificate. The similar health care provider who provides such written opinion shall not, without a showing of malice, be personally liable for any damages to the defendant health care provider by reason of having provided such written opinion. In addition to such written opinion, the court may consider other factors with regard to the existence of good faith. If the court determines, after the completion of discovery, that such certificate was not made in good faith and that no justiciable issue was presented against a health care provider that fully cooperated in providing informal discovery, the court upon motion or upon its own initiative shall impose upon the person who signed such certificate or a represented party, or both, an appropriate sanction which may include an order to pay to the other party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion or other paper, including a reasonable attorney's fee. The court may also submit the matter to the appropriate authority for disciplinary review of the attorney if the claimant's attorney or the apportionment complainant's attorney submitted the certificate.

      (b) Upon petition to the clerk of the court where the civil action will be filed to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, an automatic ninety-day extension of the statute of limitations shall be granted to allow the reasonable inquiry required by subsection (a) of this section. This period shall be in addition to other tolling periods.

      (c) The failure to obtain and file the written opinion required by subsection (a) of this section shall be grounds for the dismissal of the action.

      (P.A. 86-338, S. 12; P.A. 87-227, S. 9; P.A. 03-202, S. 14; P.A. 05-275, S. 2; P.A. 07-65, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 87-227 amended Subsec. (a) to replace provision that "No action, accruing on or after October 1, 1986, shall be filed to recover damages for personal injury or wrongful death" with "No civil action shall be filed to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987"; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provision re form prescribed by rules of the superior court and making technical changes; P.A. 05-275 amended Subsec. (a) to make provisions applicable to an apportionment complaint and the filing thereof, require the opinion of the similar health care provider to be signed and include a detailed basis for the formation of such opinion, require the claimant or the claimant's attorney and any apportionment complainant or apportionment complainant's attorney to retain the original written opinion and attach a copy of such written opinion, with the name and signature of the similar health care provider expunged, to such certificate and provide that such similar health care provider shall not, without a showing of malice, be personally liable by reason of having provided such written opinion and added new Subsec. (c) to provide that the failure to obtain and file the written opinion shall be grounds for dismissal of the action, effective October 1, 2005, and applicable to actions filed on or after that date; P.A. 07-65 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute "civil action" for "action" and add "to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death" re extension of statute of limitations.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 52-192a. Offer of compromise by plaintiff. Acceptance by defendant. Amount and computation of interest. (a) After commencement of any civil action based upon contract or seeking the recovery of money damages, whether or not other relief is sought, the plaintiff may, not earlier than one hundred eighty days after service of process is made upon the defendant in such action but not later than thirty days before trial, file with the clerk of the court a written offer of compromise signed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, directed to the defendant or the defendant's attorney, offering to settle the claim underlying the action for a sum certain. For the purposes of this section, such plaintiff includes a counterclaim plaintiff under section 8-132. The plaintiff shall give notice of the offer of compromise to the defendant's attorney or, if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, to the defendant himself or herself. Within thirty days after being notified of the filing of the offer of compromise and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the defendant or the defendant's attorney may file with the clerk of the court a written acceptance of the offer of compromise agreeing to settle the claim underlying the action for the sum certain specified in the plaintiff's offer of compromise. Upon such filing and the receipt by the plaintiff of such sum certain, the plaintiff shall file a withdrawal of the action with the clerk and the clerk shall record the withdrawal of the action against the defendant accordingly. If the offer of compromise is not accepted within thirty days and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the offer of compromise shall be considered rejected and not subject to acceptance unless refiled. Any such offer of compromise and any acceptance of the offer of compromise shall be included by the clerk in the record of the case.

      (b) In the case of any action to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, an offer of compromise pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall state with specificity all damages then known to the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney upon which the action is based. At least sixty days prior to filing such an offer, the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney shall provide the defendant or the defendant's attorney with an authorization to disclose medical records that meets the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-191) (HIPAA), as amended from time to time, or regulations adopted thereunder, and disclose any and all expert witnesses who will testify as to the prevailing professional standard of care. The plaintiff shall file with the court a certification that the plaintiff has provided each defendant or such defendant's attorney with all documentation supporting such damages.

      (c) After trial the court shall examine the record to determine whether the plaintiff made an offer of compromise which the defendant failed to accept. If the court ascertains from the record that the plaintiff has recovered an amount equal to or greater than the sum certain specified in the plaintiff's offer of compromise, the court shall add to the amount so recovered eight per cent annual interest on said amount, except in the case of a counterclaim plaintiff under section 8-132, the court shall add to the amount so recovered eight per cent annual interest on the difference between the amount so recovered and the sum certain specified in the counterclaim plaintiff's offer of compromise. The interest shall be computed from the date the complaint in the civil action or application under section 8-132 was filed with the court if the offer of compromise was filed not later than eighteen months from the filing of such complaint or application. If such offer was filed later than eighteen months from the date of filing of the complaint or application, the interest shall be computed from the date the offer of compromise was filed. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees in an amount not to exceed three hundred fifty dollars, and shall render judgment accordingly. This section shall not be interpreted to abrogate the contractual rights of any party concerning the recovery of attorney's fees in accordance with the provisions of any written contract between the parties to the action.

      (P.A. 76-316, S. 2; P.A. 77-269, S. 1, 2; P.A. 79-60; 79-250, S. 1; P.A. 81-315, S. 3; P.A. 82-160, S. 94; 82-228; P.A. 83-295, S. 9; P.A. 92-110, S. 1; P.A. 94-20; P.A. 01-71, S. 1; P.A. 05-275, S. 4; P.A. 07-141, S. 16.)

      History: P.A. 77-269 amended Subsec. (c) to specify that provisions apply to "all claims, except claims which were assigned for trial on or before October 1, 1976" rather than to claims "accruing after October 1, 1976"; P.A. 79-60 raised annual interest on offer of judgment from 6% to 12% in Subsec. (b); P.A. 79-250 authorized court to award attorney's fees not exceeding $350 and specified that provisions do not abrogate contractual rights concerning recovery of attorney's fees in Subsec. (b); P.A. 81-315 amended provisions in Subsec. (b) concerning computation of interest on judgments in actions commenced on or after October 1, 1981; P.A. 82-160 made minor technical changes to Subsecs. (a) and (b) and deleted Subsec. (c) which had provided "This section shall apply to all claims, except claims which were assigned for trial on or before October 1, 1976"; P.A. 82-228 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting the provision allowing a plaintiff to file a new offer of judgment after rejection and to continue to file offers up until trial, and amended Subsec. (b) by providing that interest is to be computed on the amount of the verdict rather than on the amount "contained in such offer" and by deleting a provision concerning what constituted the largest offer of judgment for purposes of computing interest; P.A. 83-295 amended Subsec. (b) by providing that interest is to be computed on and added to the "amount so recovered" rather than the "verdict"; P.A. 92-110 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize a plaintiff to file an offer of judgment in any civil action "seeking the recovery of money damages, whether or not other relief is sought" rather than in any civil action "for the recovery of money only"; P.A. 94-20 amended Subsec. (a) to require an offer of judgment to be accepted prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court; P.A. 01-71 amended Subsec. (a) to require an offer of judgment to be filed not later than 30 days before trial and increase from 30 to 60 days the time period for filing an acceptance of the offer of judgment and made technical changes throughout section for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 05-275 replaced "offer of judgment" and "offer of settlement" with "offer of compromise" where appearing, amended Subsec. (a) to provide that the offer of compromise may be filed no earlier than 180 days after service of process is made upon the defendant, delete provision that plaintiff is offering "to stipulate to a judgment", decrease from 60 days to 30 days the time period for the defendant to accept the offer, provide that when a defendant accepts an offer the defendant is agreeing "to settle the claim underlying the action for the sum certain stated in the plaintiff's offer of compromise" rather than "agreeing to a stipulation for judgment as contained in plaintiff's offer of judgment" and replace "Upon such filing, the clerk shall enter judgment immediately on the stipulation" with "Upon such filing and the receipt by the plaintiff of such sum certain, the plaintiff shall file a withdrawal of the action with the clerk and the clerk shall record the withdrawal of the action against the defendant accordingly", added new Subsec. (b) re requirements for the filing of an offer of compromise in an action to recover damages for an injury or death resulting from the negligence of a health care provider, and redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c) and amended said Subsec. to decrease the rate of annual interest from 12% to 8% and delete obsolete provision re computation of interest in actions commenced before October 1, 1981, effective October 1, 2005, and applicable to actions accruing on or after that date; P.A. 07-141 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for purposes of section that a plaintiff includes a counterclaim plaintiff under Sec. 8-132, and amended Subsec. (c) re calculation of interest for a counterclaim plaintiff under Sec. 8-132 and added references to applications under Sec. 8-132, effective June 25, 2007, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date.

      Court properly awarded offer of compromise interest on basis of defendants' having rejected plaintiff's offer. Defendants' offered no authority for proposition that inadequate performance of the party making an offer of compromise precludes the statutorily prescribed remedy. 102 CA 23.

      Subsec. (a):

      Plaintiff is not required to state in an offer of judgment the period of time that defendant has to accept the offer. Including reference to the acceptance period in offer of judgment is a courtesy, done in order to save defendant from having to consult language of the statute. 103 CA 20.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 52-225a. Reduction in economic damages in personal injury and wrongful death actions for collateral source payments. (a) In any civil action, whether in tort or in contract, wherein the claimant seeks to recover damages resulting from (1) personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987, or (2) personal injury or wrongful death, arising out of the rendition of professional services by a health care provider, occurring on or after October 1, 1985, and prior to October 1, 1986, if the action was filed on or after October 1, 1987, and wherein liability is admitted or is determined by the trier of fact and damages are awarded to compensate the claimant, the court shall reduce the amount of such award which represents economic damages, as defined in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 52-572h, by an amount equal to the total of amounts determined to have been paid under subsection (b) of this section less the total of amounts determined to have been paid under subsection (c) of this section, except that there shall be no reduction for (A) a collateral source for which a right of subrogation exists, and (B) the amount of collateral sources equal to the reduction in the claimant's economic damages attributable to the claimant's percentage of negligence pursuant to section 52-572h.

      (b) Upon a finding of liability and an awarding of damages by the trier of fact and before the court enters judgment, the court shall receive evidence from the claimant and other appropriate persons concerning the total amount of collateral sources which have been paid for the benefit of the claimant as of the date the court enters judgment.

      (c) The court shall receive evidence from the claimant and any other appropriate person concerning any amount which has been paid, contributed, or forfeited, as of the date the court enters judgment, by, or on behalf of, the claimant or members of his immediate family to secure his right to any collateral source benefit which he has received as a result of such injury or death.

      (P.A. 85-574, S. 1; P.A. 86-338, S. 4; P.A. 87-227, S. 4; P.A. 07-217, S. 191.)

      History: P.A. 86-338 deleted provision which limited operation of section to actions arising out of the rendition of professional services by a health care provider and expanded section to include any civil action accruing on or after October 1, 1986 seeking compensation for personal injury or wrongful death, and added provision prohibiting reduction in the award for the amount of collateral sources equal to the reduction in the claimant's recoverable damages attributable to his percentage of negligence; P.A. 87-227 divided section into Subsecs., amended Subsec. (a) to change applicability of section from "In any civil action, accruing on or after October 1, 1986, whether in tort or in contract, wherein the claimant seeks compensation for personal injury or wrongful death" to "In any civil action, whether in tort or in contract, wherein the claimant seeks to recover damages resulting from (1) personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987, or (2) personal injury or wrongful death arising out of the rendition of professional services by a health care provider, occurring on or after October 1, 1985, and prior to October 1, 1986, if the action was filed on or after October 1, 1987," provide the reduction shall be in "economic" damages, and replace the provision that reduction shall be by "the total of all amounts paid to the claimant from all collateral sources which are available to him" with reduction by "an amount equal to the total of amounts determined to have been paid under subsection (b) less the total of amounts determined to have been paid under subsection (c)", amended Subsec. (b) to require the court to receive evidence "before it enters judgment" concerning collateral sources paid "as of the date the court enters judgment", and amended Subsec. (c) to replace requirement that the court "also take testimony" with requirement that the court "receive evidence from the claimant and any other appropriate person," and to specify that the amount is that paid, contributed or forfeited "as of the date the court enters judgment" and that the collateral source benefit is that which he "has received" rather than "is receiving"; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective July 12, 2007.

      Subsec. (b):

      Trial court did not improperly allow evidence of collateral sources to be admitted to jury. 102 CA 93.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)