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Senate Bill No. 1207

Public Act No. 11-77

AN ACT CONCERNING OFFERS OF COMPROMISE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 52-192a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) [After] Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, 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] the plaintiff may, not earlier than three hundred sixty-five days after service of process is made upon the defendant in such action, file with the clerk of the court a written offer of compromise pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and, if the offer of compromise is not accepted within sixty 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. [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.

Approved July 8, 2011