LEGISLATION; LIABILITY (LAW); LITIGATION; MALPRACTICE; MEDICAL MALPRACTICE; MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE;

MALPRACTICE;

OLR Research Report


September 10, 2003

 

2003-R-0646

RECENT STATE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ACTIONS

By: Saul Spigel, Chief Analyst

State

Damages Provisions

Colorado

H. B. 1007

Extends pre-existing $ 250,000 cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice to cases of physical impairment and disfigurement.

Florida

S. B. 2-D

Noneconomic damages for medical negligence capped at $ 500,000 for physicians and $ 750,000 for hospitals. In emergency room cases, the limit is $ 150,000 each. For nonemergencies, the cap is $ 500,000 for each physician, with an aggregate cap of $ 1 million for all claimants. For hospitals, HMOs, hospice providers, and other nonphysician providers, the cap is $ 750,000 per claimant, with $ 1. 5 million aggregate cap for all claimants. A cap may be raised in nonemergency situations to the equivalent aggregate amount for death, permanent vegetative state, or other catastrophic injury where a judge determines it would be unjust not to exceed the cap.

Idaho

H. B. 92

Caps noneconomic damages awards in civil cases at $ 250,000 (down from previous limit of $ 400,000), adjustable each year in accordance with rise or fall of state “average annual wage. ”

Ohio

S. 281

Noneconomic damages capped at $ 250,000 or 3 times economic loss to a maximum of $ 350,000/plaintiff or $ 500,000/occurrence; exceptions to noneconomic caps are permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of limb or bodily function, permanent physical functional injury limiting activities of daily living; exceptions allow awards up to $ 500,000 plaintiff or $ 1,000,000/occurrence.

Oklahoma

S. B. 629

Noneconomic damages capped at $ 300,000 in cases involving pregnancy.

Texas

H. B. 4

Comprehensive tort reform legislation established a tree-tiered system for awarding noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. A $ 250,000 cap applies to all doctors involved in a case, with a $ 250,000 cap against any single institution and a $ 500,000 cap on all health-care institutions combined.

West Virginia

H. B. 2122

Maximum award for noneconomic loss of $ 250,000 per occurrence; $ 500,000 per occurrence for wrongful death, permanent and substantial deformity, loss of limb or bodily function; after January 1, 2004, will increase to account for inflation up to 50 percent, the maximum thereafter with be $ 1 million.

Sources: National Conference of State Legislature (April 2003) and BNA reports.