2003 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Chism, Nicholson, Smith (39th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 7 OF HOUSE BILL NO. 2, THIRD EXTRAORDINARY SESSION 2002, TO REVISE THE APPLICATION OF THE CAP ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 7 of House Bill No. 2, Third Extraordinary Session 2002, is amended as follows:
Section 1. (1) For the purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Noneconomic damages" means subjective, nonpecuniary damages arising from death, pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, worry, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, bystander injury, physical impairment, injury to reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of the enjoyment of life, hedonic damages, other nonpecuniary damages, and any other theory of damages such as fear of loss, illness or injury. The term "noneconomic damages" shall not include damages for disfigurement, nor does it include punitive or exemplary damages.
(b) "Actual economic damages" means objectively verifiable pecuniary damages arising from medical expenses and medical care, rehabilitation services, custodial care, disabilities, loss of earnings and earning capacity, loss of income, burial costs, loss of use of property, costs of repair or replacement of property, costs of obtaining substitute domestic services, loss of employment, loss of business or employment opportunities, and other objectively verifiable monetary losses.
(2) (a) In any action for injury if the trier of fact finds the defendant liable, the plaintiff shall not be awarded more than the following for noneconomic damages:
(i) For claims for causes of action filed on or after passage of House Bill No. 2, Third Extraordinary Session 2002, but before July 1, 2011, the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00);
(ii) For claims for causes of action filed on or after July 1, 2011, but before July 1, 2017, the sum of Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($750,000.00);
(iii) For claims for causes of action filed on or after July 1, 2017, the sum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00).
It is the intent of this section to limit all noneconomic damages to the above.
(b) The trier of fact shall not be advised of the limitations imposed by this subsection (2) and the judge shall appropriately reduce any award of noneconomic damages that exceeds the applicable limitation.
(3) The limitation on noneconomic damages set forth in subsection (2) shall not apply in cases where the judge determines that a jury may impose punitive damages.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose a limitation on damages for disfigurement or actual economic damages.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003, and shall apply to all causes of action filed on or after that date.