2009 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) King
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 11-1-60, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR A PROPORTIONATE REDUCTION IN THE LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WHO MAKE MEDICAL SERVICES AVAILABLE TO MEDICAID RECIPIENTS; 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, disfigurement, 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 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) (i) In any cause of action filed on or after September 1, 2004, for injury based on malpractice or breach of standard of care against a provider of health care, including institutions for the aged or infirm, in the event the trier of fact finds the defendant liable, they shall not award the plaintiff more than Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) for noneconomic damages.
(ii) In any cause of action filed on or after July 1, 2009, for injury based on malpractice or breach of standard of care against a provider of health care, including institutions for the aged or infirm, when the provider of health care is rendering services to a patient who is eligible for health care services under the provisions of Title 43, Chapter 13, Article 3, Mississippi Code of 1972, if the trier of fact finds the defendant liable, the limit of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) for noneconomic damages shall be proportionately reduced as follows: the Medicaid reimbursement amount for the service or procedure divided by the usual and customary charge amount multiplied by the verdict or the limit of liability provided in this subsection (2)(a), whichever is less.
(b) In any civil action filed on or after September 1, 2004, other than those actions described in paragraph (a) of this subsection, in the event the trier of fact finds the defendant liable, they shall not award the plaintiff more than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) for noneconomic damages.
It is the intent of this section to limit all noneconomic damages to the above.
(c) 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) Nothing contained in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as creating a cause of action or as setting forth elements of or types of damages that are or are not recoverable in any type of cause of action.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2009.