2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Robertson, King, Moffatt, Mettetal, Michel, White, Scoper, Kirby, Walden, Stogner, Dickerson, Browning, Minor, Nunnelee, Ross, Johnson (19th), Hyde-Smith, Carmichael, Chaney, Hewes, Little, Canon, Burton
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 11-1-60, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE LIMITATIONS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES IN ALL CIVIL ACTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 11-1-60, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
11-1-60. (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, * * * 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.
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(2) (a) In any civil 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 July 1, 2003, 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).
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(b) The jury 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.
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(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose a limitation on damages for disfigurement or actual economic damages.
(4) Whether an element of damages may or may not be recovered in any action shall not be governed by the provisions of this section, but shall be governed by applicable statutory or common law.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.