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Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice Laws

Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice Laws

Last Updated: August 15, 2011
Incorporates 2011 enactments.

NCSL Staff Contact: Heather Morton, Denver, (303) 364-7700

The chart below summarizes state medical liability/medical malpractice laws regarding the following provisions:

  • Damage Award Limits or Cap

Regarding damage award limits or caps: 17 jurisdictions do not have a damage award limit or cap, 35 jurisdictions have a limit or cap. Connecticut and Minnesota allow for a court to review of the damage awarded, but does not specify a specific limit or cap.

All states have statutes of limitation for medical liability/malpractice claims. Thirty-six states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have special provisions for malpractice claims filed by minors. Twenty states have special provisions regarding foreign objects.

Regarding joint and several liability: 26 jurisdictions allow for joint and several liability (13 regular, 13 modified). California has modified joint liability, 17 jurisdictions have several liability and nine jurisdictions have modified several liability. The District of Columbia provides for joint and several liability for compensatory damages and several liability for punitive damages.

  • Limits on Attorney Fees

Twenty-eights states have provisions that place limitations on attorneys' fees. Twelve states, Guam and Puerto Rico sliding fee schedules.

  • Periodic Payments

Regarding periodic payments: 30 jurisdictions either allow or require periodic payments for damages associated with medical liability or malpractice cases. Statutes in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia and New Hampshire have been held unconstitutional.

  • Patient Compensation or Injury Fund

Regarding patient compensation or injury funds: 13 states have provisions allowing for a patient compensation or injury fund. Oklahoma has created a Health Care Indemnity Fund Task Force.

Thirty-six states, the District of Columbia and Guam have provisions allowing medical professionals to make apologies or sympathetic gestures.

Twenty-seven states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have specific provisions providing for alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation or settlement conferences) in medical liability or malpractice cases. Seventeen jurisdictions—Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia, the Virgin Islands and Wyoming—have requirements that medical liability or malpractice cases be heard by a screening panel before trial.

Twenty-eight states have requirements for filing an affidavit or certificate of merit in order for a medical liability/malpractice claim to move forward.

Thirty-two states and Guam have provisions regarding minimum qualificiations for expert witnesses who testify in medical malpractice/liability cases.

  • Medical or Peer Review Panels

All but three jurisdictions—New Mexico, New York and Puerto Rico—have provisions regarding medical or peer review panels.

 

 

AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | FL | GA | GU | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO 
MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PA | PR | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | VI | WA | WV | WI | WY
States: Medical Liability Provision: Summary of Provision:
Alabama
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Limits on noneconomic damages (§6-5-547) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Mobile Infirmary Medical Center v. Hodgen, 884 So.2d (Ala. 2003)).
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments Requirement for periodic payments for future damages in excess of $150,000 (§6-5-543) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Lloyd Noland Hosp. v. Durham, 906 So.2d 157 (Ala. 2005)).
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §6-5-333. Liability and confidentiality provisions for serving on peer review or utilization and quality control committee or professional standards review committee or a similar committee
§34-24-58. Decisions, opinions, etc., of utilization review committee privileged
Alaska
Damage Award Limit or Cap §09.55.549. Noneconomic damages limited to $250,000; limited to $400,000 for wrongful death or injury over 70 percent disabling; limits not applicable to intentional or reckless acts or omissions.
§9.17.020. Punitive damages limited to the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000. Except as provided, if the conduct was motivated by financial gain and the adverse consequences of the conduct were actually known by the defendant or the person responsible for making policy decisions on behalf of the defendant, it may award an amount of punitive damages not to exceed the greatest of (1) four times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff in the action; (2) four times the aggregate amount of financial gain that the defendant received as a result of the defendant's misconduct; or (3) the sum of $7,000,000.
Limits on Attorney Fees §09.60.080. If an attorney contracts for or collects a contingency fee in connection with an action for personal injury, death, or property damage and the damages awarded by a court or jury include an award of punitive damages, the contingent fee due the attorney shall be calculated before that portion of punitive damages due the state under AS 09.17.020(j) has been deducted from the total award of damages.
Periodic Payments §09.55.548. Permitted for future damages, including damages for future medical treatment, care or custody, loss of future earnings, or loss of bodily function of the claimant.
§09.17.040. Procedure for periodic payments. Payments may be modified only in the event of the death of the judgment creditor, in which case payments may not be reduced or terminated, but shall be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty of support, as provided by law, immediately before death. In the event the judgment creditor owed no duty of support to dependents at the time of the judgment creditor's death, the money remaining shall be distributed in accordance with a will of the deceased judgment creditor accepted into probate or under the intestate laws of the state if the deceased had no will.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §18.23.005 et seq. Medical review organizations
Arizona
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Arizona Constitution Article 2, § 31: No law shall be enacted in this state limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury of any person.
Limits on Attorney Fees §12-568. The court shall, at the request of any party in any action under this chapter, determine the reasonableness of each party's attorneys' fees.
Periodic Payments Election for periodic payments (§12-581 et seq.) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Smith v. Myers, 181 Ariz. 11, 887 P.2d 541 (1994)).
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §36-441. Health care utilization committee immunity
§36-445 et seq. Review of certain health care practices
§36-2401 et seq. Health care quality assurance
Arkansas
Damage Award Limit or Cap §16-55-205 to 16-55-209. Punitive damages award for each plaintiff shall not be more than the greater of the following: (1) $250,000; or (2) Three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in the action, not to exceed $1 million. Limits adjusted for inflation at three-year intervals. Limits shall not apply when the finder of fact: (1) Determines by clear and convincing evidence that, at the time of the injury, the defendant intentionally pursued a course of conduct for the purpose of causing injury or damage; and (2) Determines that the defendant's conduct did, in fact, harm the plaintiff.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments Statute (§16-114-208) declared unconstitutional by federal court (see McMullin v. U.S., 515 F.Supp.2d 904 (E.D. Ark. 2007)).
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §20-9-501 et seq. Peer review committees
California
Damage Award Limit or Cap Civil Code §3333.2. $250,000 limit for noneconomic damages.
Limits on Attorney Fees Business and Professions §6146. Sliding scale, not to exceed 40 percent of first $50,000, 33-1/3 percent of next $50,000, 25 percent of next $500,000, and 15 percent of damages exceeding $600,000.
Periodic Payments Civil Procedure §667.7. If the award for future damages equals or exceeds $50,000, a superior court shall, at the request of either party, enter a judgment ordering that money damages or its equivalent for future damages of the judgment creditor be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. Money damages awarded for loss of future earnings shall not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor, but shall be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty of support, as provided by law, immediately prior to his death. In such cases the court which rendered the original judgment, may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid future damages in accordance with this subdivision.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels Business & Professions Code §805 et seq. Peer review bodies
Evidence Code §1157 et seq. Confidentiality of peer review bodies
Colorado
Damage Award Limit or Cap §13-64-302. $1 million total limit on all damages; $300,000 noneconomic limitation.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §13-64-201 et seq. If the award for future damages exceeds the present value of $150,000, the trial judge shall enter a judgment ordering that awards for future damages be paid by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. Money damages awarded for loss of future earnings shall not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor. Any such remaining periodic payments shall be paid to the heirs and devisees of the judgment creditor. Payments for future damages other than loss of future earnings shall cease at the death of the judgment creditor.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §12-36.5-101 et seq. Professional review proceedings
Connecticut
Damage Award Limit or Cap §52-228c. If the jury renders a verdict specifying noneconomic damages in an amount exceeding $1 million, the court shall review the evidence presented to the jury to determine if the amount of noneconomic damages specified in the verdict is excessive as a matter of law in that it so shocks the sense of justice as to compel the conclusion that the jury was influenced by partiality, prejudice, mistake or corruption. If the court so concludes, it shall order a remittitur and, upon failure of the party so ordered to remit the amount ordered by the court, it shall set aside the verdict and order a new trial.
Limits on Attorney Fees §52-251c. Sliding scale, not to exceed an amount equal to a percentage of 33-1/3 percent of first $300,000; 25 percent of next $300,000; 20 percent of next $300,000; 15 percent of next $300,000; and 10 percent of damages exceeding $1.2 million. A claimant may waive the percentage limitations of said subsection if the claim or civil action is so substantially complex, unique or different from other wrongful death, personal injury or property damage claims or civil actions as to warrant a deviation from such percentage limitations.
Periodic Payments §52-225d. If the amount of recoverable economic and recoverable noneconomic damages exceeds $200,000, the court shall provide the parties 60 days to negotiate and consent to an agreement to be incorporated into an amended judgment to provide for the payment of all such damages remaining in excess of $200,000 in a lump sum or in periodic installment payments or in any combination thereof. If the court enters judgment for periodic installment payments and a claimant dies before the end of the period during which such periodic installment payments are to be made, the obligation of the defendant(s) to make such periodic installment payments shall not cease until the remaining financial obligation of the defendant(s) has, in accordance with an order of a court having jurisdiction in the matter, been paid into the estate of the claimant in periodic installment payments or distributed to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the estate as such court may direct and such distribution shall be binding as to any party making periodic installment payments hereunder.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §19a-17b. Peer review
Delaware
Damage Award Limit or Cap 18 §6855. Punitive damages may be awarded only on finding of malicious intent to injure or willful or wanton misconduct. No specified limit.
Limits on Attorney Fees 18 §6865. Sliding scale, not to exceed 35 percent of first $100,000; 25 percent of next $100,000; and 10 percent of all damages exceeding $200,000. A claimant has the right to elect to pay for the attorney's services on a mutually satisfactory per diem basis.
Periodic Payments 18 §6864. The court may, after making a determination as to the amount of such judgment which was awarded as compensation for future pain and suffering, if any, the amount of such judgment awarded for future expenses of care of the injured party made necessary by reason of the injury involved, if any, and the amount of such judgment awarded as compensation for any other future damages, if any, direct that: (1) There shall be deducted from the award, and paid to the plaintiff, an amount sufficient to cover the plaintiff's attorney's fees, expenses related to the litigation, expenses incurred for past health care and pain and suffering incurred as of the date of said payment; (2) The remainder of the award shall be paid to the plaintiff in equal or unequal monthly installments to be fixed by the Court for a period of time to be fixed by the Court; provided, however, that in addition thereto, medical expenses incurred and paid by plaintiff not otherwise reimbursed shall also be paid to plaintiff from the undistributed portion of the award; (3) Each monthly installment shall, in addition, include a payment of interest on the then unpaid balance at a rate to be fixed by the Court. If a plaintiff receiving installment payments of a judgment shall die before the expiration of a 20-year period from the date of the award, and prior to the receipt by the plaintiff or on the plaintiff's behalf of all such installment payments, the Court shall deduct from the total of the installment payments then remaining unpaid the amount thereof representing compensation for future pain and suffering and future expenses of care made necessary by the injury involved, shall cause the balance of all such installments after such deduction to be paid to the estate of the plaintiff so dying and shall cause such judgment to be marked satisfied. If the plaintiff receiving installment payments shall die after the expiration of a 20-year period from the date of the award, then the payment shall automatically terminate as of the date of the plaintiff's death.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §24 §1768. Immunity of boards of review
District of Columbia
Damage Award Limit or Cap No applicable statute.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §44-801 et seq. Peer review body
Florida
Damage Award Limit or Cap §766.118. Noneconomic damages limited to $500,000 per claimant. Noneconomic damages shall not exceed $1 million for cases involving death or permanent vegetative state, or 1) a manifest injustice would occur unless increased noneconomic damages are awarded, based on a finding that because of the special circumstances of the case, the noneconomic harm sustained by the injured patient was particularly severe; and 2) The trier of fact determines that the defendant's negligence caused a catastrophic injury to the patient. Noneconomic damages limited to $150,000 per claimant for cases arising from medical negligence of practitioners providing emergency services and care, the total noneconomic damages recoverable by all claimants from all such practitioners shall not exceed $300,000.
§768.73. Punitive damages limited to the greater of three times amount of compensatory damages or $500,000. Where the wrongful conduct was motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain and the unreasonably dangerous nature of the conduct, together with the high likelihood of injury resulting from the conduct, was actually known by the managing agent, director, officer, or other person responsible for making policy decisions on behalf of the defendant, the amount of punitive damages shall not to exceed the greater of four times the amount of compensatory damages or $2 million. Where the defendant had a specific intent to harm, and the defendant's conduct did in fact harm the claimant, there shall be no cap on punitive damages.
Limits on Attorney Fees Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 26. In any medical liability claim involving a contingency fee, the claimant is entitled to receive no less than 70 percent of the first $250,000 in all damages received by the claimant, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs, whether received by judgment, settlement, or otherwise, and regardless of the number of defendants. The claimant is entitled to 90 percent of all damages in excess of $250,000, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs and regardless of the number of defendants.
Fla. Atty. Conduct Reg. §4-1.5. Attorneys’ fees in excess of the following amounts are presumed unreasonable: (1) In cases that settle before filing an answer or appointing an arbitrator: 33-1/3 percent of any recovery up to $1 million; plus 30 percent of any recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus 20 percent of any portion exceeding $2 million. (2) In cases after filing an answer, demanding an arbitrator through the entry of judgment: 40 percent of any recovery up to $1 million; plus 30 percent of any recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus 20 percent of any portion exceeding $2 million. (3) If all defendants admit liability and request a trial only on damages: 33-1/3 percent of any recovery up to $1 million; plus 20 percent of any recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus 15 percent of any portion exceeding $2 million. An additional five percent of any recovery after institution of any appellate proceeding is filed or post-judgment relief or action is required for recovery on the judgment.
Periodic Payments §768.78. In any action for damages based on personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical malpractice, whether in tort or contract, in which the trier of fact makes an award to compensate the claimant for future economic losses, payment of amounts intended to compensate the claimant for these losses shall be made by one of the following means: 1. The defendant may make a lump-sum payment for all damages so assessed, with future economic losses and expenses reduced to present value; or 2. The court shall, at the request of either party, enter a judgment ordering future economic damages, as itemized pursuant to §768.77, to be paid by periodic payments rather than lump sum.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §766.105. Patient’s Compensation Fund
§766.301 et seq. Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan
Medical or Peer Review Panels §395.0193. Peer review
§766.101. Immunity for medical review committee
Georgia
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Limits on noneconomic damages (§51-13-1) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt et al., (Ga. March 22, 2010).
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments Statute (§51-13-1) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery P.C. v. Nestlehutt, 691 S.E.2d 218 (Ga. 2010)).
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §31-7-130 et seq. Peer review groups
§31-7-140 et seq. Medical review committees
Guam
Damage Award Limit or Cap 7 §12116. Any exemplary damages awarded to a client in a tort suit based on health care or professional services shall be placed in a special fund that may be expended at the discretion of the administrator, Guam Memorial Hospital, for the improvement of medical services within the territory of Guam.
5 §6301. (b) The government of Guam, in the case of line agencies, shall be liable in tort for not more than $100,000 in an action for wrongful death, nor for more than $300,000 in any other tort action.
(d) (1) In the case of the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, it shall also be liable in tort, not to exceed the limits stated in subsection (b), above, for damages arising from negligent acts of Government Health Professionals performed within facilities operated by said Authority as agents of the government of Guam at the request of the Government or performed at the private medical facility of a private physician acting as a Government Health Professional for follow up care to a house patient limited to specific treatment for the condition(s) medically diagnosed by the physician or the Emergency Room physician while treating House Patients at the Guam Memorial Hospital.
Limits on Attorney Fees 7 §26601. Sliding scale, not to exceed (1) 50 percent on the first $1,000 recovered; (2) 40 percent on the next $2,000 recovered; (3) 33-1/3 percent on the next $47,000 recovered; (4) 20 percent on the next $50,000 recovered; (5) 10 percent on any amount recovered over $100,000; and (6) Where the amount recovered is for the benefit of an infant or incompetent and the action is settled without trial the foregoing limits shall apply, except that the fee on any amount recovered up to $50,000 shall not exceed 25 percent.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels Rules of Evidence §417. Health care provider peer review committee
Hawaii
Damage Award Limit or Cap §663-8.7. Noneconomic damages recoverable for pain and suffering shall be limited to a maximum award of $375,000.
Limits on Attorney Fees §607-15.5. Attorneys' fees for both the plaintiff and the defendant shall be limited to a reasonable amount as approved by the court.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §432E-9. Utilization review
§624-25.5. Proceedings and records of peer review committees and quality assurance committees.
§663-1.7. Liability of professional society; peer review committee; ethics committee; hospital or clinic quality assurance committee
Idaho
Damage Award Limit or Cap §6-1603. $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages, adjusted annually according to state's average annual wage.
§6-1604. Punitive damages limited to the greater of $250,000 or amount three times of compensatory damages.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §6-1601 et seq. If the amount of future damages exceeds $100,000, the court may, in the exercise of its sound discretion, and at the request of either party, enter a judgment which provides for the periodic payment of that portion of the verdict. All judgments payable by periodic payments, as provided in this section, shall constitute a property right of the judgment creditor entitled to receive the payments, shall survive the death, disability or incapacity of the judgment creditor, and shall be inheritable, devisable, assignable and otherwise subject to disposition by the judgment creditor as any other form of intangible personal property; provided that nothing contained herein is intended to amend, modify or in any way alter any federal, state or local laws pertaining to taxes which may or may not be assessed against all or any portion of the judgment.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §39-1392 et seq. Peer review
Illinois
Damage Award Limit or Cap 735 §5/2-1115. Punitive damages not recoverable in medical malpractice cases.
No limitations. Limits on noneconomic damages (§6-5-547) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, (Ill. February 4, 2010)).
Limits on Attorney Fees 735 §5/2-1114. Sliding scale, not to exceed 33-1/3 percent of first $150,000; 25 percent of next $850,000; 20 percent of any amount recovered over $1 million of the sum recovered.
Periodic Payments 735 §5/2-1701 et seq. A party to the action must elect not less than 60 days before commencement of a trial involving issues of future damages unless leave of court is obtained. For all future damages which the trier of fact has determined will accrue for the remainder of the plaintiff's life, payment for those damages shall continue until the later of the plaintiff's death or the time when the remaining life expectancy is reached. For all future damages which the trier of fact has determined will accrue for a definite number of years, payment for those damages shall continue for that number of years irrespective of the plaintiff's death.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels 225 §60/5. Immunity for peer review committee
735 §5/8-2101 et seq. Confidentiality of records
Indiana
Damage Award Limit or Cap §34-18-14-3. The total amount recoverable may not exceed $500,000. A health care provider is not liable for an amount in excess of $250,000 for an occurrence of malpractice.
Limits on Attorney Fees §34-18-18-1. When a plaintiff is represented by an attorney in the prosecution of the plaintiff's claim, the plaintiff's attorney's fees from any award made from the patient's compensation fund may not exceed 15 percent of any recovery from the fund.
Periodic Payments §34-18-14-1 et seq. Permitted.
§34-18-15-2. Notwithstanding IC 34-18-6, the commissioner may: (1) discharge the possible liability of the patient's compensation fund to a patient through a periodic payments agreement (as defined in IC 34-18-14-2); and (2) combine money from the fund with money of the health care provider (or its insurer) to pay the cost of the periodic payments agreement with the patient (or the patient's estate). However, the amount provided by the commissioner may not exceed 80 percent of the total amount expended for the agreement.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §34-18-6-1 et seq. Patient’s Compensation Fund
§34-18-5-1 et seq. Surcharge to fund Patient’s Compensation Fund
§34-18-15-1 et seq. Payment from the Patient’s Compensation Fund
Medical or Peer Review Panels §34-30-15-1 et seq. Privileged communications of health care provider peer review committees
Iowa
Damage Award Limit or Cap §147.136. In an action for damages the damages awarded shall not include actual economic losses incurred or to be incurred in the future by the claimant by reason of the personal injury, including but not limited to, the cost of reasonable and necessary medical care, rehabilitation services, and custodial care, and the loss of services and loss of earned income, to the extent that those losses are replaced or are indemnified by insurance, or by governmental, employment, or service benefit programs or from any other source except the assets of the claimant or of the members of the claimant's immediate family.
Limits on Attorney Fees §147.138. The court shall determine the reasonableness of any contingent fee arrangement between the plaintiff and the plaintiff's attorney.
Periodic Payments §668.3. Any party may petition the court for a determination of the appropriate payment method of such judgment or award. If so petitioned the court may order that the payment method for all or part of the judgment or award be by structured, periodic, or other nonlump-sum payments. However, the court shall not order a structured, periodic, or other nonlump-sum payment method if it finds that any of the following are true: a. The payment method would be inequitable. b. The payment method provides insufficient guarantees of future collectibility of the judgment or award. c. Payments made under the payment method could be subject to other claims, past or future, against the defendant or the defendant’s insurer.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §147.135. Confidentiality and immunity for peer review committees
Kansas
Damage Award Limit or Cap §60-19a02. $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages for personal injury recoverable by each party from all defendants.
§16-1903. Wrongful death damages, other than pecuniary loss sustained by an heir at law, cannot exceed in the aggregate the sum of $250,000 and costs.
§60-3702. No award of exemplary or punitive shall exceed the lesser of: (1) The annual gross income earned by the defendant, as determined by the court based upon the defendant's highest gross annual income earned for any one of the five years immediately before the act for which such damages are awarded, unless the court determines such amount is clearly inadequate to penalize the defendant, then the court may award up to 50 percent of the net worth of the defendant, as determined by the court; or (2) $5 million. If the court finds that the profitability of the defendant's misconduct exceeds or is expected to exceed the limitation above, the limitation on the amount of exemplary or punitive damages which the court may award shall be an amount equal to 1 1/2 times the amount of profit which the defendant gained or is expected to gain as a result of the defendant's misconduct.
Limits on Attorney Fees §7-121b. Compensation for reasonable attorney fees to be paid by each litigant in the action shall be approved by the judge after an evidentiary hearing and prior to final disposition of the case by the district court. Compensation for reasonable attorney fees for services performed in an appeal of a judgment in any such action to the court of appeals shall be approved after an evidentiary hearing by the chief judge or by the presiding judge of the panel hearing the case. Compensation for reasonable attorney fees for services performed in an appeal of a judgment in any such action to the supreme court shall be approved after an evidentiary hearing by the departmental justice for the department in which the appeal originated.
Periodic Payments §60-2609. The court may include in such judgment a requirement that the damages awarded be paid in whole or in part by installment or periodic payments, and any installment or periodic payment upon becoming due and payable under the terms of any such judgment shall constitute a separate judgment upon which execution may issue.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §40-3403. Health Care Stabilization Fund
Medical or Peer Review Panels §65-4915. Authority and privileges of peer review committee
Kentucky
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Kentucky Constitution §54: The General Assembly shall have no power to limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to person or property.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §311.377. Confidentiality and immunity for professional review bodies
Louisiana
Damage Award Limit or Cap RS §40:1299.42. $500,000 limit for total recovery. Health care provider liability limited to $100,000. Any award in excess of all liable providers paid from Patient’s Compensation Fund.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund RS §40:1299.44 et seq. Patient Compensation Fund. Physicians levied surcharge directly into fund for purpose of paying malpractice claims.
Medical or Peer Review Panels RS §13:3715.3. Confidentiality of peer review records
RS §40:2205. Utilization reviews
RS §44:7. Confidentiality for public hospital committees
Maine
Damage Award Limit or Cap No applicable statute.
Limits on Attorney Fees 24 §2961. Sliding scale, not to exceed 33-1/3 percent of first $100,000; 25 percent of next $100,000; and 20 percent of damages exceeding $200,000. For purposes of determining any lump-sum contingent fee, any future damages recoverable by the plaintiff in periodic installments shall be reduced to lump-sum value. If the plaintiff prevails in the action for professional negligence, the plaintiff's attorney may petition the court to review the reasonableness of the fees permitted above.
Periodic Payments 24 §2951. If the award for future damages, including, equals or exceeds $250,000, the court in which the action is brought shall, at the request of either party, enter a judgment ordering that money damages or its equivalent for future damages of the judgment creditor, exclusive of litigation expenses, be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. Money damages awarded for loss of future earnings and loss of services shall not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor, but shall be paid to the judgment creditor's estate. In those cases, the court which rendered the original judgment may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid future damages, exclusive of unpaid damages for future medical treatment, in accordance with this subchapter.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels 24 §2501 et seq. Professional competence reports
32 §3296. Confidentiality of medical staff review committees
Maryland
Damage Award Limit or Cap Courts & Judicial Proceedings Code §3-2A-09(A). Noneconomic damages for a cause of action arising between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008, inclusive, may not exceed $650,000. The limitation on noneconomic damages shall increase by $15,000 on January 1 of each year beginning January 1, 2009. The increased amount shall apply to causes of action arising between January 1 and December 31 of that year, inclusive. In a wrongful death action, where there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, the noneconomic damages for all actions may not exceed 125 percent of the above limitation.
Limits on Attorney Fees Courts & Judicial Proceedings §3-2A-07. If a legal fee is in dispute, an attorney may not charge or collect compensation for services rendered in connection with an arbitration claim unless it is approved by the arbitration panel, or by the court in the event an action to nullify a panel determination has been filed therein.
Periodic Payments Courts & Judicial Proceedings §11-109. The court or the health claims arbitration panel may order that all or part of the future economic damages portion of the award be paid in the form of annuities or other appropriate financial instruments, or that it be paid in periodic or other payments consistent with the needs of the plaintiff, funded in full by the defendant or the defendant's insurer and equal when paid to the amount of the future economic damages award. If the plaintiff under this section dies before the final periodic payment of an award is made, the unpaid balance of the award for future loss of earnings shall revert to the estate of the plaintiff and the unpaid balance of the award for future medical expenses shall revert to the defendant or to the defendant's insurer if the insurer provided the funds for the future damages award.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels Health Occupations Code §1-401 et seq. Medical review committees
Massachusetts
Damage Award Limit or Cap Ch. 231 §60H. $500,000 limit for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment and other items of general damages unless there is a determination that there is a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement, or other special circumstances. Except as provided, if two or more plaintiffs have received verdicts or findings of such damages in a total amount, for all plaintiffs claiming damages from a single occurrence, transaction, act of malpractice, or injury which exceeds $500,000, the amount of such damages recoverable by each plaintiff will be reduced to a percentage of $500,000 proportionate to that plaintiff’s share of the total amount of such damages for all plaintiffs.
Limits on Attorney Fees Ch. 231 §60I. No contingent fee agreement, shall be enforced, and no attorney shall recover a fee thereunder, as a result of services rendered in an action against a provider of health care for malpractice, negligence, error, omission, mistake, or the unauthorized rendering of professional services if, at the time of judgment, the court determines that the amount of the recovery paid or to be paid to the plaintiff, after deduction of the attorney’s reasonable expenses and disbursements for which the plaintiff is liable and the amount of the attorney’s fee, is less than the total amount of the plaintiff’s unpaid past and future medical expenses included in the recovery, unless the contingent attorney’s fee: (a) is 20 percent or less of the plaintiff’s recovery; (b) is reduced to 20 percent or less of the plaintiff’s recovery; or (c) is reduced to a level which permits the plaintiff to be paid his unpaid past and future medical expenses included in the recovery. Sliding scale, not to exceed 40 percent of first $150,000; 33-1/3 percent of next $150,000; 30 percent of next $200,000 and 25 percent of award over $500,000.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels Ch. 111 §203 et seq. Medical peer review committees
Michigan
Damage Award Limit or Cap §600.1483. $280,000 limit on noneconomic damages; $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages if (a) The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of one or more limbs caused by one or more of the following: (i) Injury to the brain. (ii) Injury to the spinal cord. (b) The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him or her incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living. (c) There has been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate. The limitation is adjusted annually by state treasurer according to consumer price index.
§600.6098. A judge presiding over an action alleging medical malpractice shall review each verdict to determine if the limitation on noneconomic damages provided for in §1483 applies. If the limitation applies, the court shall set aside any amount of noneconomic damages in excess of the amount specified in §1483.
Limits on Attorney Fees §600.919 The measure of the compensation of members of the bar is left to the express or implied agreement of the parties subject to the regulation of the supreme court.
Periodic Payments §600.6301 et seq. If the amount of future damages, in the judgment exceeds $250,000 gross present cash value, the court shall enter an order that the defendant or the defendant's liability insurance carrier shall satisfy that amount of the judgment, less all costs and attorney fees the plaintiff is obligated to pay, by the purchase of an annuity contract, if all of the following requirements are met: (a) The purchase price of the annuity contract shall be equal to 100 percent of the future damages subject to this section, less an amount determined by multiplying the amount of those damages by a percentage equal to the rate of prejudgment interest as calculated under §6013(5) or §6455(2) on the date the trial was commenced. (b) The annuity contract is purchased from a life insurer authorized to issue annuity contracts under §500.100 to 500.8302. Subject to §6307, if the plaintiff and the defendant agree to a plan for the structured payment of future damages within 35 days of the judgment, the court shall order that structured payments shall be made pursuant to that plan. Sections 6306(1)(c), (d), and (e), 6307, and 6309 do not apply to a plaintiff who is 60 years of age or older at the time of judgment.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §333.21515. Confidentiality of review function bodies
Minnesota
Damage Award Limit or Cap §549.20. Punitive damages shall be allowed in civil actions only upon clear and convincing evidence that the acts of the defendant show deliberate disregard for the rights or safety of others. The court shall specifically review the punitive damages award and shall make specific findings. The appellate court, if any, also shall review the award. Nothing in this section may be construed to restrict either court's authority to limit punitive damages.
Limits on Attorney Fees §548.251. If the fees for legal services provided to the plaintiff are based on a percentage of the amount of money awarded to the plaintiff, the percentage must be based on the amount of the award as adjusted under the collateral source rule.
Periodic Payments §549.25. If the amount of future damages exceeds $100,000, the court shall hold a hearing prior to ordering entry of judgment to allow the claimant to consider whether payment of the future damages over time as the damages are incurred is in the best interests of the claimant. If the claimant decides, after the hearing, that structured payments of future damages would be in the claimant's best interests, the court shall make available information to assist the claimant in seeking an appropriate financial instrument to provide such payments. Judgment may not be entered until the claimant has notified the court that the claimant does not wish to enter into a structured settlement.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §145.61 et seq. Review organizations
Mississippi
Damage Award Limit or Cap §11-1-60. $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages.
§11-1-65. In any civil action where an entitlement to punitive damages shall have been established under applicable laws, no award of punitive damages shall exceed the following: (i) $20 million for a defendant with a net worth of more than $1 billion; (ii) $15 million for a defendant with a net worth of more than $750 million but not more than $1 billion; (iii) $5 million for a defendant with a net worth of more than $500 million but not more than $750 million; (iv) $3,750,000 for a defendant with a net worth of more than $100 million but not more than $500 million; v) $2,500,000 for a defendant with a net worth of more than $50 million but not more than $100 million; or (vi) Two percent of the defendant's net worth for a defendant with a net worth of $50 million or less.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §41-63-1 et seq. Evaluation and review of professional health services providers
Missouri
Damage Award Limit or Cap §538.210. Noneconomic damages limited to $350,000 regardless of number of defendants.
§510.265. No award of punitive damages against any defendant shall exceed the greater of: (1) $500,000; or (2) Five times the net amount of the judgment awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §538.205 et seq. If the total amount of damages exceeds $100,000, at the request of any party to such action made prior to the entry of judgment, the court shall include in the judgment a requirement that future damages be paid in whole or in part in periodic or installment payments. Upon the death of a judgment creditor, the right to receive payments of future damages, other than future medical damages, being paid by installments or periodic payments will pass in accordance with the Missouri probate code unless otherwise transferred or alienated prior to death. Payment of future medical damages will continue to the estate of the judgment creditor only for as long as necessary to enable the estate to satisfy medical expenses of the judgment creditor that were due and owing at the time of death, which resulted directly from the injury for which damages were awarded, and do not exceed the dollar amount of the total payments for such future medical damages outstanding at the time of death.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §537.035. Peer review committees
Montana
Damage Award Limit or Cap §25-9-411. $250,000 limit on past and future damages for noneconomic loss.
§27-1-220. A judge or jury may award, in addition to compensatory damages, punitive damages for the sake of example and for the purpose of punishing a defendant. An award for punitive damages may not exceed $10 million or three percent of a defendant's net worth, whichever is less.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §29-5-401 et seq. A party to an action for a malpractice claim in which $50,000 or more of future damages is awarded may, prior to the entry of judgment, request the court to enter a judgment ordering future damages to be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. Upon a request, the court shall enter an order for periodic payment of future damages. The total dollar amount of the ordered periodic payments must equal the total dollar amount of the future damages without a reduction to present value. The court shall order that periodic payment of future damages be made, during the life of the judgment creditor or during the continuance of the compensable injury or disability of the judgment creditor, through the purchase of an inflation-indexed annuity approved by the court. If the judgment creditor dies before all periodic payments have been made, the remaining payments become the property of the creditor's estate.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §37-2-201. Non-liability for peer review
Nebraska
Damage Award Limit or Cap §44-2825. Total damages limited to $1,750,000. Health care provider liability limited to $500,000. Any excess of total liability of all health care providers paid from Excess Liability Fund.
Limits on Attorney Fees §44-2834. In all cases against a health care provider for malpractice or professional negligence, upon motion of either party the court shall review the attorney's fees incurred by that party and allow such compensation as the court shall deem reasonable.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §44-2829 et seq. Excess Liability Fund participation required and surcharge assessed to physicians.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §25-12,123. Confidentiality of peer review committees
§71-2046 et seq. Medical staff review committees
§71-7901 et seq. Peer review committees
Nevada
Damage Award Limit or Cap §41A.035. $350,000 limit on noneconomic damages.
§42.005. Exemplary or punitive damages made pursuant to this section may not exceed: (a) Three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff if the amount of compensatory damages is $100,000 or more; or (b) $300,000 if the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff is less than $100,000.
Limits on Attorney Fees §7.095. Sliding scale for attorney fees, not to exceed 40 percent of first $50,000; 33-1/3 percent of next $50,000; 25 percent of next $500,000; 15 percent of any amount over $600,000.
Periodic Payments §42.020 et seq. If the future damages equals or exceeds $50,000, a district court shall, at the request of either party, enter a judgment ordering that money damages or its equivalent for future damages of the judgment creditor be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment Such payments must only be subject to modification in the event of the death of the judgment creditor. Money damages awarded for loss of future earnings must not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor, but must be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty of support, as provided by law, immediately before the judgment creditor’s death. In such cases, the court that rendered the original judgment may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid future damages in accordance with this subsection.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §49.265. Review committees for medical or dental care
New Hampshire
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Limits on noneconomic damages (§507-C:7) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Carson v. Maurer, 120 N.H. 925, 424 A.2d 825 (1980) and Brannigan v. Usitalso, 134 N.H. 50, 587 A.2d 1232 (1991)).
Limits on Attorney Fees §507-C:8. Limits declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Carson v. Maurer, 120 N.H. 925, 424 A.2d 825 (1980)).
§508:4-e. Contingent fee agreements between attorney and client shall be governed by Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.5 as it may be amended by the supreme court from time to time and by any other rules regarding fees which are adopted or amended by the court. All fees and costs for actions, resulting in settlement or judgment of $200,000 or more, shall be subject to approval by the court.
Periodic Payments Election for periodic payments for future damages in excess of $50,000 (§507-C:7) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Carson v. Maurer, 120 N.H. 925, 424 A.2d 825 (1980)).
§524:6-a. Whenever judgment is rendered against any person in this state, the court in which the judgment is rendered shall either at the time of rendition of the judgment inquire of the defendant as to the defendant's ability to pay the judgment in full or, upon petition of the plaintiff after judgment, order the defendant to appear in court for such inquiry. The court may at either time order the defendant to make such periodic payments as the court in its discretion deems appropriate.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §151:13-a et seq. Confidentiality of review committees
§151-D:2. Confidentiality of quality assurance program
§329:29 et seq. Confidentiality of medical review committees
New Jersey
Damage Award Limit or Cap §2A:15-5.14. No defendant shall be liable for punitive damages in any action in an amount in excess of five times the liability of that defendant for compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
Limits on Attorney Fees Court Rules §1:21-7. Sliding scale, not to exceed 33-1/3 percent of first $500,000; 30 percent of next $500,000; 25 percent of third $500,000; 20 percent of fourth $500,000; on all amounts recovered in excess of the above by application for reasonable fee in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (f) hereof; and where the amount recovered is for the benefit of a client who was a minor or mentally incapacitated when the contingent fee arrangement was made, the foregoing limits shall apply, except that the fee on any amount recovered by settlement without trial shall not exceed 25 percent.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §2A:84A-22.10. Professional review committees
New Mexico
Damage Award Limit or Cap §41-5-6. $600,000 total limit on all damages. The value of accrued medical care and related benefits shall not be subject to the $600,000 limitation. Monetary damages shall not be awarded for future medical expenses in malpractice claims. A health care provider's personal liability is limited to $200,000 for monetary damages and medical care and related benefits as provided in §41-5-7 NMSA 1978. Any amount due from a judgment or settlement in excess of $200,000 shall be paid from the patient's compensation fund.
§41-5-7. Awards of future medical care and related benefits shall not be subject to the $600,000 limitation imposed in §41-5-6.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §41-5-7. Payment for future medical care and related benefits shall be made as expenses are incurred. The health care provider shall be liable for all medical care and related benefit payments until the total payments made by or on behalf of it for monetary damages and medical care and related benefits combined equals $200,000, after which the payments shall be made by the patient's compensation fund.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §41-5-25. Patient’s Compensation Fund. Superintendent has authority to purchase insurance for fund and its obligations. Health Care providers pay surcharge of insurance premiums into fund.
Medical or Peer Review Panels No statute provided specific to medical liability/malpractice cases.
New York
Damage Award Limit or Cap No applicable statute.
Limits on Attorney Fees Jud. 30 §474-a. Sliding scale, not to exceed 30 percent of first $250,000; 25 percent of second $250,000; 20 percent of next $500,000; 15 percent of next $250,000; 10 percent over $1.25 million. In the event the attorney believes in good faith that the fee schedule, because of extraordinary circumstances, will not give adequate compensation, application for greater compensation may be made upon affidavit with written notice and an opportunity to be heard to the claimant or plaintiff and other persons holding liens or assignments on the recovery.
Periodic Payments Civil Practice Law and Rules §5031 et seq. As to any award of damages for future pain and suffering in excess of §500,000, the court shall determine the greater of 35 percent of such damages or §500,000 and such amount shall be paid in a lump sum. The remaining amount of the award for damages for future pain and suffering shall be paid in a stream of payments over the period of time determined by the trier of fact or eight years, whichever is less.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund Public Health §2999-G et seq. There is hereby created the New York state medical indemnity fund (the "fund"). The purpose of the fund is to provide a funding source for future health care costs associated with birth related neurological injuries, in order to reduce premium costs for medical malpractice insurance coverage.
Medical or Peer Review Panels No statute provided specific to medical liability/malpractice cases.
North Carolina
Damage Award Limit or Cap §1D-25. Punitive damages shall not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater.
§90-21.19 (2011 Chapter 400). (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, in any medical malpractice action in which the plaintiff is entitled to an award of noneconomic damages, the total amount of noneconomic damages for which judgment is entered against all defendants shall not exceed $500,000. Judgment shall not be entered against any defendant for noneconomic damages in excess of $500,000 for all claims brought by all parties arising out of the same professional services. On January 1 of every third year, beginning with January 1, 2014, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall reset the limitation on damages for noneconomic loss set forth in this subsection to be equal to $500,000 times the ratio of the Consumer Price Index for November of the prior year to the Consumer Price Index for November 2011. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall inform the Revisor of Statutes of the reset limitation. The Revisor of Statutes shall publish this reset limitation as an editor's note to this section. In the event that any verdict or award of noneconomic damages stated pursuant to G.S. 90-21.19B exceeds these limits, the court shall modify the judgment as necessary to conform to the requirements of this subsection.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, there shall be no limit on the amount of noneconomic damages for which judgment may be entered against a defendant if the trier of fact finds both of the following: (1) The plaintiff suffered disfigurement, loss of use of part of the body, permanent injury or death. (2) The defendant's acts or failures, which are the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries, were committed in reckless disregard of the rights of others, grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional or with malice.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §90-21.22 et seq. Peer review
§131E-95. Medical review committees
North Dakota
Damage Award Limit or Cap §32-42-02. $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages.
§32-03.2-08. Economic damage awards in excess of $250,000 subject to court review.
Limits on Attorney Fees §28-26-01. The amount of fees of attorneys in civil actions must be left to the agreement, express or implied, of the parties.
Periodic Payments §32-03.2-01 et seq., If an injured party claims future economic damages for continuing institutional or custodial care that will be required for a period of more than two years, at the discretion of the court any party may request the trier of fact to make a special finding of the total amount awarded for this care, separate from other future economic damages, and if a separate award is made, any party may make periodic payments for this care in an amount approved by the court, provided payment of the total award for this care is adequately secured. The adequacy of the periodic payments within the limit of the total award will be subject to review by the court from time to time, and upon the death of the injured person the obligation to provide for further continuing care shall terminate.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §23-34-01 et seq. Peer review organizations
§23-34-02.1. Any report, data, data compilation, analyses, or summary that is generated by a peer review organization and made available to the state department of health or the public by the state department of health, the North Dakota healthcare association, or the North Dakota hospital foundation, may not be introduced into evidence, for any purpose, in any civil or administrative proceeding.
§23-34-03. Peer review records are privileged and are not subject to subpoena or discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil or administrative action, except: a. Records gathered from an original source that is not a peer review organization; b. Testimony from any person as to matters within that person's knowledge, provided the information was not obtained by the person as a result of the person's participation in a professional peer review; or c. Peer review records subpoenaed in an investigation conducted by an investigative panel of the board of medical examiners pursuant to chapter 43-17.1 or subpoenaed in a disciplinary action before the board of medical examiners pursuant to §43-17-30.1.
Any peer review records provided to an investigative panel of the board of medical examiners or introduced as evidence in any disciplinary action before the board are confidential and are not subject to subpoena, discovery, or admissibility into evidence in any civil or administrative action, and are not public records subject to §44-04-18 and §6 of article XI of the Constitution of North Dakota.
§23-34-06. A person furnishing peer review records to a peer review organization with respect to any patient examined or treated by a health care provider is not, by reason of furnishing the records, liable in damages to any person or for willful violation of a privileged communication.
A health care organization, health care provider, or member of a peer review organization is not liable in damages to any person for any action taken or recommendation made regarding a professional peer review, if the health care organization, health care provider, or member of the peer review organization acts without malice and in the reasonable belief that the action or recommendation is warranted by the facts known to the health care organization, health care provider, or member of the peer review organization.
Ohio
Damage Award Limit or Cap §2315.21. Punitive and exemplary damages limited to twice the amount of compensatory damages. If the defendant is a small employer or individual, the court shall not enter judgment for punitive or exemplary damages in excess of the lesser of two times the amount of the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff from the defendant or 10 percent of the employer’s or individual’s net worth when the tort was committed up to a maximum of $350,000.
§2323.43. No limitation on compensatory damages that represent the economic loss of the person who is awarded the damages in the civil action. Noneconomic damages shall not exceed the greater of $250,000 or an amount that is equal to three times the plaintiff’s economic loss, as determined by the trier of fact, to a maximum of $350,000 for each plaintiff or a maximum of $500,000 for each occurrence. Noneconomic damages may exceed the amount described above but shall not exceed $500,000 for each plaintiff or $1 million for each occurrence if the noneconomic losses of the plaintiff are for either of the following: (a) Permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system; (b) Permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for self and perform life sustaining activities.
Limits on Attorney Fees §2323.43 (F). If the amount of the attorney’s fees exceed the applicable amount of the limits on compensatory damages for noneconomic loss, the attorney shall apply to the court and the attorney’s fees shall be subject to the approval of the probate court of the county in which the civil action was commenced or in which the settlement was entered.
Periodic Payments §2323.55 et seq. If the amount of future damages exceed $50,000, the plaintiff or defendant may file a motion with the court that seeks a determination whether all or any part of the future damages recoverable by the plaintiff shall be received by the plaintiff in a series of periodic payments rather than in a lump sum. The court shall determine, in its discretion, whether all or any part of the future damages recoverable by the plaintiff shall be received by the plaintiff in a series of periodic payments rather than in a lump sum. If the court determines that a plaintiff shall receive the future damages recoverable by the plaintiff in a series of periodic payments, it may order the payments only as to the amount of the future damages recoverable by the plaintiff that exceeds $50,000. If a court orders a series of periodic payments of future damages in accordance with this section and the plaintiff dies prior to the receipt of all of the future damages, the liability for the unpaid portion of those damages that is not yet due at the time of the death of that plaintiff shall continue, but the payments shall be paid to the heirs of that plaintiff as scheduled in and otherwise in accordance with the approved periodic payments plan or, if the plan does not contain a relevant provision, as the court shall order.
§2323.56. In any tort action that is tried to a court and in which a plaintiff makes a good faith claim against the defendant in question for future damages that exceed both $200,000 and 25 percent of the total of the damages the plaintiff or defendant in question may file a motion with the court that seeks a determination whether all or any part of the total of the portions of the future damages on shall be received by the plaintiff in question in a series of periodic payments rather than in a lump sum. If the court determines that a series of periodic payments shall be received by that plaintiff, it may order such payments only as to the amount of that total that exceeds both $200,000 and 25 percent of the total of the damages described in divisions (B)(1)(a) and (b) of this section. If a court orders a series of periodic payments of future damages in accordance with this section, the following rules shall govern those payments if the plaintiff in question dies prior to the receipt of all of them: (1) The liability for the portion of those payments that represents future economic loss as described in division (B)(1)(b)(iv) of this section and that is not due at the time of the death of that plaintiff shall cease at that time; (2) The liability for the portion of those payments that represents future noneconomic loss of that plaintiff as described in division (B)(1)(b)(i) of this section and that is not due at the time of the death of that plaintiff shall continue, but the payments shall be paid to the heirs of that plaintiff as scheduled in and otherwise in accordance with the approved periodic payments plan or, if the plan does not contain a relevant provision, as the court shall order; (3) The liability for the portion of those payments not described in division (F)(1) or (2) of this section shall continue, but the payments shall be paid as described in division (F)(2) of this section.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §2305.25 et seq. Peer review committee
Oklahoma
Damage Award Limit or Cap 23 §9.1. Where the jury finds by clear and convincing evidence that: The defendant has been guilty of reckless disregard for the rights of others; the jury, may award punitive damages in an amount not to exceed the greater of: a. $100,000, or b. the amount of the actual damages awarded. Where the jury finds by clear and convincing evidence that: The defendant has acted intentionally and with malice towards others; the jury may award punitive damages in an amount not to exceed the greatest of: a. $500,000, b. twice the amount of actual damages awarded, or c. the increased financial benefit derived by the defendant as a direct result of the conduct causing the injury to the plaintiff and other persons or entities. Where the jury finds by clear and convincing evidence that: The defendant has acted intentionally and with malice towards others; and the court finds that there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted intentionally and with malice and engaged in conduct life-threatening to humans, the jury, may award punitive damages in any amount the jury deems appropriate, without regard to the limitations set forth above.
23 §61.2 (2011 Chapter 14). A. In any civil action arising from a claimed bodily injury, the amount of compensation which the trier of fact may award a plaintiff for economic loss shall not be subject to any limitation.
B. Except as provided in subsection C of this section, in any civil action arising from a claimed bodily injury, the amount of compensation which a trier of fact may award a plaintiff for noneconomic loss shall not exceed $350,000, regardless of the number of parties against whom the action is brought or the number of actions brought.
C. Notwithstanding subsection B of this section, there shall be no limit on the amount of noneconomic damages which the trier of fact may award the plaintiff in a civil action arising from a claimed bodily injury resulting from negligence if the judge and jury finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant’s acts or failures to act were: 1. In reckless disregard for the rights of others; 2. Grossly negligent; 3. Fraudulent; or 4. Intentional or with malice.
Limits on Attorney Fees 5 §7. Fee may not exceed 50 percent of net judgment.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund 36 §2211. Health Care Indemnity Fund Task Force
Medical or Peer Review Panels 63 §1-1709.1 et seq. Peer review bodies
Oregon
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Limits on noneconomic damages (§31.710) declared unconstitutional by State Supreme Court (see Lakin v. Senco Products, Inc., 329 Or. 62, 987 P.2d 463 (Or. 1999)).
§31.740. Punitive damages may not be awarded against a health practitioner, as defined, if the health practitioner was engaged in conduct regulated by the license, registration or certificate issued by the appropriate governing body and was acting within the scope of practice for which the license, registration or certificate was issued and without malice.
Limits on Attorney Fees §31.735. In no event may more than 20 percent of the amount awarded as punitive damages be paid to the attorney for the prevailing party.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §41.675. Inadmissibility of data provided to peer review bodies
Pennsylvania
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Pennsylvania Constitution Article 3, §18: The General Assembly may enact laws requiring the payment by employers, or employers and employees jointly, of reasonable compensation for injuries to employees arising in the course of their employment, and for occupational diseases of employees, whether or not such injuries or diseases result in death, and regardless of fault of employer or employee, and fixing the basis of ascertainment of such compensation and the maximum and minimum limits thereof, and providing special or general remedies for the collection thereof; but in no other cases shall the General Assembly limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property, and in case of death from such injuries, the right of action shall survive, and the General Assembly shall prescribe for whose benefit such actions shall be prosecuted.
40 §1303.505. Except in cases alleging intentional misconduct, punitive damages against an individual physician shall not exceed 200 percent of the compensatory damages awarded. Punitive damages, when awarded, shall not be less than $100,000 unless a lower verdict amount is returned by the trier of fact. Upon the entry of a verdict including an award of punitive damages, the punitive damages portion of the award shall be allocated as follows: (1) 75 percent shall be paid to the prevailing party; and (2) 25 percent shall be paid to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.
40 §1303.509. The trier of fact may incorporate into any future medical expense award adjustments to account for reasonably anticipated inflation and medical care improvements as presented by competent evidence.
Limits on Attorney Fees Limits declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Heller v. Frankston, 475 A.2d 1291 (Pa. 1984)).
Periodic Payments 40 §1303.501 et seq. Future damages for medical and other related expenses shall be paid as periodic payments after payment of the proportionate share of counsel fees and costs based upon the present value of the future damages awarded pursuant to this subsection. Future damages for medical and other related expenses shall not be awarded in periodic payments if the claimant objects and stipulates that the total amount of the future damages for medical and other related expenses, without reduction to present value, does not exceed $100,000.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund 40 §1303.712. Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund. Money in the fund shall be used to pay claims against participating health care providers for losses or damages awarded in medical professional liability actions against them in excess of the basic insurance coverage required.
Medical or Peer Review Panels 63 §425.1 et seq. Peer review protection
Puerto Rico
Damage Award Limit or Cap 32 §3077. Actions for damages for alleged acts of malpractice to the health professionals who work in the areas of obstetrics, orthopedics, general surgery or trauma exclusively at public health institutions of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, its dependencies, instrumentalities and/or municipalities, regardless of whether said institutions are being administered or operated by a private entity limited to up to the sum of $75,000. Damages shall not exceed $150,000 when, because of said act or omission, damages are caused to more than one person or when there are several causes of action to which a single prejudiced party is entitled. If according to the conclusions of the court it should arise that the sum of the damages caused to each of the persons exceeds $150,000, the court shall proceed to distribute said sum prorated among the plaintiffs, taking as [basis] the damages suffered by each one.
Limits on Attorney Fees 26 §4111. Sliding scale, not to exceed 33 percent of the first $75,000; $24, 500 plus 25 percent of the excess $75,000 of the compensation from $75,001 to $150,000; $43,500 plus 20 percent of the excess$150,000 of the compensation from $150,001 or more. Notwithstanding the above, the court may authorize the charging of contingent fees in these cases up to a maximum of 33 percent of the final product of the judgment, transaction or agreement, if the attorney should request it and can justify it.
4 §742. No attorney shall charge fees of a contingent nature in actions to recover damages in an amount that exceeds, for any reason, 25 percent of the final proceeds of the judgment, compromise or agreement if the client is a minor or mentally disabled, or 33 percent of the final proceeds of the judgment, compromise or agreement if it is any other client. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where clients are minors or mentally disabled, the court may authorize the charge of contingent fees up to 33 percent of the final proceeds of the judgment, compromise or agreement if the attorney so requests, and presents good cause therefor.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels No statute provided specific to medical liability/malpractice cases.
Rhode Island
Damage Award Limit or Cap No applicable statute.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §9-21-12. In any action to recover damages for personal injury, injury to property, or wrongful death for which a judgment of $150,000 or more is entered, a post-judgment conference shall be held for the purpose of determining the viability of a voluntary agreement for payment of the judgment in periodic installments.
§9-21-13. In any legal action based upon a cause of action arising for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death in which damages, if liability is proved, are likely to be in excess of $150,000, the parties shall consider the use of periodic payments as means of settlement.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §5-37.3-7. Medical peer review boards
South Carolina
Damage Award Limit or Cap §15-32-220. Noneconomic damages limited to $350,000 against single health care provider or facility. In actions against more than one facility, provider or combination, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution and each health care provider is limited to an amount not to exceed $350,000 for each claimant, and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions and health care providers is limited to an amount not to exceed $1,050,000 for each claimant. Limits increased or decreased annually based on Consumer Price Index. No limits on noneconomic or punitive damages if defendant is grossly negligent, wilful, wanton, or reckless, and such conduct was the proximate cause of the claimant's noneconomic damages, or if the defendant has engaged in fraud or misrepresentation related to the claim, or if the defendant altered or destroyed medical records with the purpose of avoiding a claim or liability to the claimant.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §38-79-410 et seq. Patients' Compensation Fund
Medical or Peer Review Panels §40-71-10 et seq. Liability of members of professional committees
South Dakota
Damage Award Limit or Cap §21-3-11. The total general damages which may be awarded may not exceed the sum of $500,000. No limitation on the amount of special damages which may be awarded.
§21-3-2. Punitive damages in discretion of jury.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §21-3A-1 et seq. A party to the action must elect within 120 days after service of the complaint. In all cases covered by this chapter in which future damages are payable in periodic installments, the liability for payment of any installments for medical or other costs of health care or noneconomic loss not yet due at the death of a person entitled to receive these benefits terminates upon the death of that person. The liability for payment of any other installments or portions thereof not yet due at the death of the person entitled to receive them likewise terminates except as provided herein.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §36-4-25 et seq. Immunity and confidentiality of professional committees
Tennessee
Damage Award Limit or Cap §29-39-101 et seq. (2011 Public Chapter 510). (a) ln a civil action, each injured plaintiff may be awarded: (1) Compensation for economic damages suffered by each injured plaintiff; and (2) Compensation for any noneconomic damages suffered by each injured plaintiff not to exceed $750,000 for all injuries and occurrences that were or could have been asserted, regardless of whether the action is based on a single act or omission or a series of acts or omissions that allegedly caused the injuries or death.
(c) lf an injury or loss is catastrophic in nature, as defined, the $750,000 amount limiting noneconomic damages, as set forth in subsections (a)(2) through (b) is increased to, but the amount of damages awarded as noneconomic damages shall not exceed, $1 million.
(e) All noneconomic damages awarded to each injured plaintiff, including damages for pain and suffering, as well as any claims of a spouse or children for loss of consortium or any derivative claim for noneconomic damages, shall not exceed in the aggregate a total of $750,000, unless subdivision (c) applies, in which case the aggregate amount shall not exceed $1 million.
(h) The limitation on the amount of noneconomic damages imposed by subsections (a)(2) through (e) shall not apply to personal injury and wrongful death actions: (1) lf the defendant had a specific intent to inflict serious physical injury, and the defendant's intentional conduct did, in fact, injure the plaintiff; (2) lf the defendant intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records containing material evidence with the purpose of wrongfully evading liability in the case at issue, provided, however, that this subsection does not apply to the good faith withholding of records pursuant to privileges and other laws applicable to discovery, nor does it apply to the management of records in the normal course of business or in compliance with the defendant's document retention policy or state or federal regulations; or (3) lf the defendant was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicant or stimulant, resulting in his or her judgment being substantially impaired, and causing the injuries or death.
§29-39-104 (2011 Public Chapter 510). Punitive or exemplary damages shall not exceed an amount equal to the greater of: (A) Two times the total amount of compensatory damages awarded; or (B) $500,000.
(7) The limitation on the amount of punitive damages imposed by subdivision (a)(5) shall not apply to actions brought for damages or an injury: (A) lf the defendant had a specific intent to inflict serious physical injury, and the defendant's intentional conduct did, in fact, injure the plaintiff; (B) lf the defendant intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records containing material evidence with the purpose of wrongfully evading liability in the case at issue, provided, however, that this subsection does not apply to the good faith withholding of records pursuant to privileges and other laws applicable to discovery, nor does it apply to the management of records in the normal course of business or in compliance with the defendant's document retention policy or state or federal regulations; or (C) lf the defendant was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicant or stimulant, resulting in his or her judgment being substantially impaired, and causing the injuries or death. For purposes of this subsection, a defendant shall not be deemed to be under the influence of drugs or any other intoxicant or stimulant. if the defendant was using lawfully prescribed drugs administered in accordance with a prescription or over-the-counter drugs in accordance with the written instructions of the manufacturer.
Limits on Attorney Fees §29.26.120. Contingent fees shall be awarded in an amount to be determined by the court on the basis of time and effort devoted to the litigation by the claimant's attorney, complexity of the claim and other pertinent matters in connection therewith, not to exceed 33-1/3 percent of all damages awarded to the claimant.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §63-6-219. Peer Review Law
§63-9-114. Confidentiality of peer review committees made up of osteopathic physicians
Texas
Damage Award Limit or Cap Civil Practice & Remedies §74.301. $250,000 limit per claimant for noneconomic damages against physician or provider. §250,000 limit per claimant against single institution. For claims against multiple institutions, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $500,000 for each claimant.
Civil Practice & Remedies §74.303. In wrongful death claims against physician, the limit of civil liability for all damages, including exemplary damages, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $500,000 for each claimant. The limitation will be adjusted by the Consumer Price Index.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments Civil Practice & Remedies §74.501 et seq. If the award for future damages equals or exceeds $100,000, at the request of a defendant physician or health care provider or claimant, the court shall order that medical, health care, or custodial services awarded in a health care liability claim be paid in whole or in part in periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. At the request of a defendant physician or health care provider or claimant, the court may order that future damages other than medical, health care, or custodial services awarded in a health care liability claim be paid in whole or in part in periodic payments rather than by a lump sum payment. On the death of the recipient, money damages awarded for loss of future earnings continue to be paid to the estate of the recipient of the award without reduction. Periodic payments, other than future loss of earnings, terminate on the death of the recipient. If the recipient of periodic payments dies before all payments required by the judgment are paid, the court may modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid damages for future loss of earnings in an appropriate manner. Following the satisfaction or termination of any obligations specified in the judgment for periodic payments, any obligation of the defendant physician or health care provider to make further payments ends and any security given reverts to the defendant.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels Health & Safety Code §161.031 et seq. Medical committees
Occupations Code §160.001 et seq. Medical peer review
Utah
Damage Award Limit or Cap §78B-3-410. For a cause of action arising on or after July 1, 2002, and before May 15, 2010 the $400,000 limitation described in Subsection (1)(b) shall be adjusted for inflation as provided in Subsection (2); and for a cause of action arising on or after May 15, 2010, $450,000.
Beginning July 1, 2002 and each July 1 thereafter until July 1, 2009, the limit for damages under Subsection (1)(c) shall be adjusted for inflation by the state treasurer. By July 15 of each year until July 1, 2009, the state treasurer shall: (i) certify the inflation-adjusted limit calculated under this Subsection (2); and (ii) inform the Administrative Office of the Courts of the certified limit. The amount resulting from Subsection (2)(a) shall: (i) be rounded to the nearest $10,000; and (ii) apply to a cause of action arising on or after the date the annual adjustment is made.
The limit under Subsection (1) does not apply to awards of punitive damages.
Limits on Attorney Fees §78B-3-411. An attorney may not collect a contingent fee for representing a client seeking damages in connection with or arising out of personal injury or wrongful death caused by the negligence of another which exceeds 33-1/3 percent of the amount recovered.
Periodic Payments §78B-3-414. If the award for future damages equals or exceeds $100,000, less amounts payable for attorney fees and other costs which are due at the time of judgment, the court shall, at the request of any party, order that future damages shall be paid by periodic payments rather than by a lump sum payment. The obligation to make periodic payments for all future damages, other than damages for loss of future earnings, shall cease upon the death of the judgment creditor. Damages awarded for loss of future earnings may not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor, but shall be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty of support, as provided by law, immediately prior to his death. In that case the court which rendered the original judgment may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid future damages in accordance with this section.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §58-13-5. Liability arising from participation in a review of a health care provider's professional ethics, medical competence, moral turpitude, or substance abuse.
Vermont
Damage Award Limit or Cap No applicable statute.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels 26 §1441 et seq. Peer review committees
Virginia
Damage Award Limit or Cap §8.01-581.15. In any verdict returned against a health care provider in an action for malpractice where the act or acts of malpractice occurred on or after August 1, 1999, which is tried by a jury or in any judgment entered against a health care provider in such an action which is tried without a jury, the total amount recoverable for any injury to, or death of, a patient shall not exceed the following, corresponding amount:
August 1, 1999, through June 30, 2000      $1.50 million
July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001        $1.55 million
July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002        $1.60 million
July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003        $1.65 million
July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004        $1.70 million
July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005        $1.75 million
July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006        $1.80 million
July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007        $1.85 million
July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008        $1.925 million
July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2012        $2.00 million
July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013        $2.05 million
July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014        $2.10 million
July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015        $2.15 million
July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016        $2.20 million
July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017        $2.25 million
July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018        $2.30 million
July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019        $2.35 million
July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020        $2.40 million
July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021        $2.45 million
July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022        $2.50 million
July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023        $2.55 million
July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024        $2.60 million
July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025        $2.65 million
July 1, 2025, through June 30, 2026        $2.70 million
July 1, 2026, through June 30, 2027        $2.75 million
July 1, 2027, through June 30, 2028        $2.80 million
July 1, 2028, through June 30, 2029        $2.85 million
July 1, 2029, through June 30, 2030        $2.90 million
July 1, 2030, through June 30, 2031        $2.95 million
In any verdict returned against a health care provider in an action for malpractice where the act or acts of malpractice occurred on or after July 1, 2031, which is tried by a jury or in any judgment entered against a health care provider in such an action which is tried without a jury, the total amount recoverable for any injury to, or death of, a patient shall not exceed $3 million. Each annual increase shall apply to the act or acts of malpractice occurring on or after the effective date of the increase.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments §8.01-424. A court must review any settlement agreement on behalf of a disabled person involving periodic payments and must be secured by a bond or insurance.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §38.2-5000 et seq. Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program
Medical or Peer Review Panels §8.01-581.16 et seq. Immunity and privileges for review committees
Virgin Islands Damage Award Limit or Cap 27 §166b. The total amount recoverable for any injury of a patient may not exceed $250,000 per occurrence. Only economic damages and noneconomic damages may be awarded. The total amount awarded for noneconomic damages for any injury to a patient as a result of a single occurrence may not exceed $75,000. No punitive damages may be awarded.
Limits on Attorney Fees 5 §541. The measure and mode of compensation of attorneys shall be left to the agreement, express or implied, of the parties.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels 19 §248. Liability and confidentiality provisions for peer review committee
Washington
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Limits on noneconomic damages (§4.56.250) declared unconstitutional by State Supreme Court (see Sofie v. Fireboard Corp., 112 Wash. 2d 636, 771 P.2d 711 (1989)).
Limits on Attorney Fees §7.70.070. Court to determine reasonableness of each party's attorney fees.
Periodic Payments §4.56.260. If the award for future economic damages is at least $100,000, the court or arbitrator shall, at the request of a party, enter a judgment which provides for the periodic payment in whole or in part of the future economic damages. Upon the death of the judgment creditor, the court which rendered the original judgment may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid future damages. Money damages awarded for loss of future earnings shall not be reduced or payments terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund None provided.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §70.41.200. Quality improvement program
West Virginia
Damage Award Limit or Cap §55-7B-8. $250,000 limit for noneconomic damages per occurrence. Plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for noneconomic loss in excess of the limitation above, but not in excess of $500,000 for each occurrence, where the damages for noneconomic losses suffered by the plaintiff were for: (1) Wrongful death; (2) permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb or loss of a bodily organ system; or (3) permanent physical or mental functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for himself or herself and perform life sustaining activities. Limits are adjusted annually for inflation by the Consumer Price Index.
Limits on Attorney Fees No limitations.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §29-12C-1 et seq. Patient injury compensation fund study board
§29-12D-1 et seq. West Virginia patient injury compensation fund
Medical or Peer Review Panels §30-3C-1 et seq. Health care peer review organization protection
Wisconsin
Damage Award Limit or Cap §893.55. The limit on total noneconomic damages for each occurrence on or after April 6, 2006, shall be $750,000.
§895.043. Punitive damages received by the plaintiff may not exceed twice the amount of any compensatory damages recovered by the plaintiff or $200,000, whichever is greater.
Limits on Attorney Fees §655.013. Sliding scale, not to exceed (a) Except as provided in par. (b), 33-1/3 percent of the first $1 million recovered. (b) 25 percent of the first $1 million recovered if liability is stipulated within 180 days after the date of filing of the original complaint and not later than 60 days before the first day of trial. (c) 20 percent of any amount in excess of $1 million recovered.
Periodic Payments §655.015. If an award or judgment provides for future medical expense payments in excess of $100,000, that portion of future medical expense payments in excess of an amount equal to $100,000 plus an amount sufficient to pay the costs of collection attributable to the future medical expense payments, including attorney fees reduced to present value, shall be paid into the fund. The commissioner shall develop by rule a system for managing and disbursing those moneys through payments for these expenses, which shall include a provision for the creation of a separate accounting for each claimant’s payments and for crediting each claimant’s account with a proportionate share of any interest earned by the fund, based on that account’s proportionate share of the fund. The commissioner shall promulgate a rule specifying the criteria that shall be used to determine the medical expenses related to the settlement or judgment, taking into consideration developments in the provision of health care. The payments shall be made under the system until either the account is exhausted or the patient dies.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §655.27 and 655.275. Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund Health care providers required to pay into fund annually.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §146.37 et seq. Health care services review
Wyoming
Damage Award Limit or Cap No limitations. Wyoming Constitution Article 10, § 4: (a) No law shall be enacted limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the injury or death of any person. (b) Any section of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, for any civil action where a person alleges that a health care provider's act or omission in the provision of health care resulted in death or injury, the legislature may by general law: (i) Mandate alternative dispute resolution or review by a medical review panel before the filing of a civil action against the health care provider.
Limits on Attorney Fees Ct. Rules, R. 1 et seq. Contingent fees which do not exceed the following schedule will be presumed to be reasonable and not excessive where the total recovery does not exceed $1 million: (1) 33-1/3 percent of the recovery if the claim is settled prior to or within 60 days after suit is filed; (2) 40 percent of the recovery if the claim is settled more than 60 days after filing suit or if a judgment is entered upon a verdict. For those amounts of a recovery in excess of $1 million a contingent fee of 30 percent of such excess sum over $1 million shall be presumed reasonable and not excessive.
Periodic Payments No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund §26-33-105. Medical Liability Compensation Account. Participating physicians pay annual surcharge.
Medical or Peer Review Panels §35-17-101 et seq. Professional standard review organizations

 

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