2002 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THAT JURIES SHALL BE INFORMED OF THE REAL PARTY IN INTEREST IN LAWSUITS; TO PROVIDE THAT NO INSURANCE POLICIES SHALL CONFLICT WITH THIS ACT; TO REVISE IDENTIFICATION OF INSURED DEFENDANTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Truthfulness in Jury Trials Act."
SECTION 2. In actions filed in the courts of the State of Mississippi, the real party in interest shall be named as a defendant, and a jury shall be told truthfully of the identity of the real party in interest. This requirement of truthfulness applies to every suit of every kind, including suits whereby the defendant has liability insurance coverage. The practice whereby the true facts are hidden from juries by not informing the jury that the real party in interest is a liability insurance carrier is hereby abolished, and liability insurance companies who have an interest in the outcome of litigation shall be named as defendants.
SECTION 3. No insurance company may insert into their policies any provision inconsistent with this act, and any such provision is void. A provision in an insurance policy providing that no action against an insurance company may not be brought until a judgment is first obtained against the insured is hereby declared void as against public policy.
SECTION 4. In any civil action alleging wrongdoing or negligence by an individual or corporation which has liability insurance, it shall no longer be necessary to name the insured as a defendant unless plaintiff seeks damages beyond the amount of the liability policy. Juries shall be informed of the amount of the insurance coverage so they will know the truth about identity of the real party in interest, and the liability policy still admissible into evidence.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and shall apply only to causes of action filed on or after the passage of this act.