Substitute House Bill No. 6596
          Substitute House Bill No. 6596

               PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-58


AN  ACT  CONCERNING  COMMUNICATIONS  BY  INSURERS,
INTEREST   RECOVERABLE  IN   NEGLIGENCE   ACTIONS,
PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENTS  AND  SUBROGATION RIGHTS IN
UNDERINSURED MOTORIST CASES.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  (a)  No  insurer licensed to
transact business in  this state may, on behalf of
itself or its insured, send or knowingly permit to
be sent any written communication or make any oral
statement to any  person known or believed to have
a  claim  for  bodily  injury  or  wrongful  death
against one of  its  insureds  that  affirmatively
advises against the  need  for  or discourages the
retention of an attorney to represent the interest
of such person  in  prosecuting  or  settling such
bodily injury or wrongful death claim.
    (b)  If  any  insurer  or  any  employee of an
insurer makes a written or oral  communication  in
violation  of  subsection (a) of this section, the
Insurance Commissioner,  after  reasonable  notice
and  an  opportunity  for  a  hearing,  may impose
sanctions pursuant to title  38a  of  the  general
statutes,   except  chapter  704  of  the  general
statutes,  including,  but  not  limited  to,  the
imposition of civil penalties.
    (c)  An  insurer  shall  be  deemed  to  be in
compliance with subsection  (a)  of  this  section
with  respect  to any written communication if the
written  communication  in   question   has   been
approved,  prior  to  its  use,  by  the Insurance
Commissioner who has determined that the  proposed
written   communication   does  not  violate  said
subsection (a).
    Sec.  2. Section 37-3b of the general statutes
is repealed and the following  is  substituted  in
lieu thereof:
    (a)  For a cause of action arising on or after
[October 1, 1981] THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS  ACT,
interest  at  the rate of ten per cent a year, and
no more, [may] SHALL be recovered and  allowed  in
any  action  to  recover damages for injury to the
person, or to real or personal property, caused by
negligence,  computed from the date THAT IS TWENTY
DAYS AFTER THE DATE of judgment OR THE  DATE  THAT
IS   NINETY   DAYS  AFTER  THE  DATE  OF  VERDICT,
WHICHEVER IS  EARLIER,  UPON  THE  AMOUNT  OF  THE
JUDGMENT.
    (b)  IF  ANY  PLAINTIFF IN SUCH ACTION FILES A
POST-VERDICT OR POST-JUDGMENT MOTION OR AN APPEAL,
THE  RECOVERY  OF INTEREST BY SUCH PLAINTIFF SHALL
BE TOLLED AND INTEREST SHALL NOT BE ADDED  TO  THE
JUDGMENT  FOR THE PERIOD THAT SUCH POST-VERDICT OR
POST-JUDGMENT MOTION OR APPEAL IS  PENDING  BEFORE
THE COURT. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL
NOT APPLY IF  THE  REASON  FOR  THE  FILING  OF  A
POST-VERDICT  OR POST-JUDGMENT MOTION OR APPEAL BY
THE PLAINTIFF IS TO REPLY TO OR ANSWER A MOTION OR
APPEAL FILED BY A DEFENDANT.
    Sec.  3.  (NEW)  (a) When an action to recover
damages has been settled, any  settling  defendant
shall  tender  all  sums  due  from  such settling
defendant  to  any  settling  plaintiff  or   such
plaintiff's agent not later than thirty days after
receipt by the  person  or  office  designated  in
writing   to   the   settling  plaintiff  or  such
plaintiff's agent by the settling defendant at the
time  of settlement of a duly executed release and
a withdrawal discontinuing any  court  action,  if
any  such  action is pending, that are tendered by
such settling plaintiff or plaintiff's  agent  and
are  executed  by  or  on  behalf  of the settling
plaintiff. If no  such  person  or  office  is  so
designated,  a  settling plaintiff may tender such
settlement documents to the  settling  defendant's
attorney  or  the  representative  of the settling
defendant's  insurer  with  whom  the   settlement
agreement  was reached and such settling defendant
shall tender  all  sums  due  from  such  settling
defendant   to  any  settling  plaintiff  or  such
plaintiff's agent not later than thirty days after
receipt   of  such  settlement  documents  by  the
settling    defendant's    attorney     or     the
representative   of   the   settling   defendant's
insurer.
    (b)   In  an  action  that  requires  judicial
approval of the settlement,  the  plaintiff  shall
also  tender  a  copy  of the order of the probate
court or other  order  approving  such  settlement
with  the  duly  executed  release  and withdrawal
discontinuing any pending court action executed on
behalf of the plaintiff.
    (c)  In the event that a settling defendant or
insurer fails  to  promptly  tender  all  sums  as
required  by  subsection  (a)  of  this section, a
default judgment shall be entered by the court  on
behalf   of  any  unpaid  plaintiff  against  such
defendant twenty days after such plaintiff files a
motion  for  a default judgment with the court and
serves such motion upon the representative of  the
insurer  with  whom  the settlement was reached or
the  defendant  with  whom  the   settlement   was
reached.  Such  motion  shall be accompanied by an
affidavit  executed  by  the  plaintiff   or   the
plaintiff's  attorney  setting  forth the terms of
such  settlement  with  supporting   documentation
attached.
    (d)  Any  insurer  or  defendant with whom the
settlement  was  reached  that  fails  to   tender
settlement  proceeds  within  the  time  limit set
forth in this section shall be liable for interest
at  a rate of twelve per cent a year on the amount
of such settlement proceeds computed from the date
such time limit expired.
    (e)  As  used  in this section, "tender" means
either  to  personally  deliver  or  cause  to  be
delivered  or  to  mail by registered or certified
mail, return receipt requested. An  insurer  or  a
defendant may otherwise prove tender by presenting
evidence that the settlement sums  due  from  such
insurer  or  such  defendant  were received by the
settling plaintiff or such plaintiff's agent.
    Sec.    4.    (NEW)   No   insurer   providing
underinsured motorist coverage as  required  under
title  38a  of the general statutes shall have any
right of subrogation against the owner or operator
of the underinsured motor vehicle for underinsured
motorist benefits paid or payable by the insurer.
    Sec.  5.  This  act shall take effect from its
passage, except that section 3 shall  take  effect
October  1,  1997  and section 1 shall take effect
January 1, 1998, and section 4 shall be applicable
to  any  claim  or  cause  of action pending on or
brought after March 19, 1996.

Approved May 27, 1997