Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 92 – Torts, certain, several liability
HOUSE BILL NO. 92
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H0092...................................by JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION
TORTS - Amends existing law to provide for several liability for certain
torts; to lower the limitation on the recovery of noneconomic damages; to
revise the evidentiary standard to clear and convincing evidence for the award
of punitive damages; to provide a limitation on the recovery of punitive
damages; and to waive a portion of the bonding and case deposit requirements
on appeals of judgments for punitive damages, with exceptions.
01/22 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/23 Rpt prt - to Jud
02/14 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/17 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/20 3rd rdg - PASSED - 58-12-0
AYES -- Barraclough, Barrett, Bauer, Bedke, Bell, Black, Block, Boe,
Bolz, Bradford, Campbell, Cannon, Collins, Crow, Cuddy, Deal, Denney,
Douglas, Eberle, Edmunson, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23),
Gagner, Garrett, Harwood, Henbest, Jaquet, Jones, Kellogg, Lake,
Langford, McGeachin, McKague, Meyer, Miller, Moyle, Nielsen, Raybould,
Ridinger, Ring, Roberts, Rydalch, Sayler, Schaefer(Schaefer), Shepherd,
Shirley, Skippen, Smith(30), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Tilman,
Trail, Wills, Wood, Mr. Speaker
NAYS -- Andersen, Bieter, Clark, Kulczyk, Langhorst, Martinez, Mitchell,
Naccarato, Ringo, Robison, Sali, Smith(24)
Absent and excused -- None
Floor Sponsor - Field(18)
Title apvd - to Senate
02/21 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
03/10 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/11 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/13 3rd rdg - PASSED - 27-8-0
AYES -- Andreason(Rouse), Bailey, Brandt, Bunderson, Burtenshaw,
Cameron, Compton, Darrington, Gannon, Geddes, Goedde, Hill, Ingram,
Keough, Little, Lodge, McKenzie, Noble, Noh, Pearce, Richardson,
Schroeder, Sorensen, Stennett, Sweet, Werk, Williams
NAYS -- Burkett, Calabretta, Davis, Kennedy, Malepeai, Marley,
Absent and excused -- None
Floor Sponsors - Sorensen & Bunderson
Title apvd - to House
03/14 To enrol
03/17 Rpt enrol - Sp signed
03/19 Pres signed
03/20 To Governor
03/26 Governor signed
Session Law Chapter 122
Effective: Secs 1 & 3, all actions accruing
Sec. 4, all appeal cases filed after 07/01/03
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-seventh Legislature First Regular Session - 2003
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 92
BY JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO TORT LIABILITY LAWS; AMENDING SECTION 6-803, IDAHO CODE, TO PRO-
3 VIDE FOR SEVERAL LIABILITY FOR CERTAIN TORTS; AMENDING SECTION 6-1603,
4 IDAHO CODE, TO LOWER THE LIMITATION ON THE RECOVERY OF NONECONOMIC DAM-
5 AGES; AMENDING SECTION 6-1604, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE THE EVIDENTIARY STAN-
6 DARD FOR THE AWARD OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND TO PROVIDE A LIMITATION ON THE
7 RECOVERY OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES; AMENDING SECTION 13-202, IDAHO CODE, TO
8 WAIVE A PORTION OF THE BONDING AND CASH DEPOSIT REQUIREMENTS ON APPEALS OF
9 JUDGMENTS FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES WITH EXCEPTIONS AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL COR-
10 RECTIONS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND
12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
13 SECTION 1. That Section 6-803, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
14 amended to read as follows:
15 6-803. CONTRIBUTION AMONG JOINT TORTFEASORS -- DECLARATION OF RIGHT --
16 EXCEPTION -- LIMITED JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY. (1) The right of contribu-
17 tion exists among joint tortfeasors, but a joint tortfeasor is not entitled to
18 a money judgment for contribution until he has by payment discharged the com-
19 mon liability or has paid more than his pro rata share thereof.
20 (2) A joint tortfeasor who enters into a settlement with the injured per-
21 son is not entitled to recover contribution from another joint tortfeasor
22 whose liability to the injured person is not extinguished by the settlement.
23 (3) The common law doctrine of joint and several liability is hereby lim-
24 ited to causes of action listed in subsection s (5) , (6) and (7) of this sec-
25 tion. In any action in which the trier of fact attributes the percentage of
26 negligence or comparative responsibility to persons listed on a special ver-
27 dict, the court shall enter a separate judgment against each party whose neg-
28 ligence or comparative responsibility exceeds the negligence or comparative
29 responsibility attributed to the person recovering. The negligence or compara-
30 tive responsibility of each such party is to be compared individually to the
31 negligence or comparative responsibility of the person recovering. Judgment
32 against each such party shall be entered in an amount equal to each party's
33 proportionate share of the total damages awarded.
34 (4) As used herein, "joint tortfeasor" means one (1) of two (2) or more
35 persons jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or
36 property, whether or not judgment has been recovered against all or some of
38 (5) A party shall be jointly and severally liable for the fault of
39 another person or entity or for payment of the proportionate share of another
40 party where they were acting in concert or when a person was acting as an
41 agent or servant of another party. As used in this section, "acting in con-
42 cert" means pursuing a common plan or design which results in the commission
43 of an intentional or reckless tortious act.
1 (6) Any cause of action arising out of a violation of any state or fed-
2 eral law or regulation relating to hazardous or toxic waste or substances or
3 solid waste disposal sites.
4 (7) Any cause of action arising from the manufacture of any medical
5 devices or pharmaceutical products.
6 SECTION 2. That Section 6-1603, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
7 amended to read as follows:
8 6-1603. LIMITATION ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES. (1) In no action seeking dam-
9 ages for personal injury, including death, shall a judgment for noneconomic
10 damages be entered for a claimant exceeding the maximum amount of four two
11 hundred fifty thousand dollars ($ 40250,000); provided, however, that beginning
12 on July 1, 19882004, and each July 1 thereafter, the cap on noneconomic dam-
13 ages established in this section shall increase or decrease in accordance with
14 the percentage amount of increase or decrease by which the Idaho industrial
15 commission adjusts the average annual wage as computed pursuant to section
16 72-409(2), Idaho Code.
17 (2) The limitation contained in this section applies to the sum of:
18 (a) noneconomic damages sustained by a claimant who incurred personal injury
19 or who is asserting a wrongful death; (b) noneconomic damages sustained by a
20 claimant, regardless of the number of persons responsible for the damages or
21 the number of actions filed.
22 (3) If a case is tried to a jury, the jury shall not be informed of the
23 limitation contained in subsection (1) of this section.
24 (4) The limitation of awards of noneconomic damages shall not apply to:
25 (a) Causes of action arising out of willful or reckless misconduct.
26 (b) Causes of action arising out of an act or acts which the trier of
27 fact finds beyond a reasonable doubt would constitute a felony under state
28 or federal law.
29 SECTION 3. That Section 6-1604, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
30 amended to read as follows:
31 6-1604. LIMITATION ON PUNITIVE DAMAGES. (1) In any action seeking recov-
32 ery of punitive damages, the claimant must prove, by a preponderance of the
33 clear and convincing evidence, oppressive, fraudulent, wanton, malicious or
34 outrageous conduct by the party against whom the claim for punitive damages is
36 (2) In all civil actions in which punitive damages are permitted, no
37 claim for damages shall be filed containing a prayer for relief seeking puni-
38 tive damages. However, a party may, pursuant to a pretrial motion and after
39 hearing before the court, amend the pleadings to include a prayer for relief
40 seeking punitive damages. The court shall allow the motion to amend the plead-
41 ings if, after weighing the evidence presented, the court concludes that, the
42 moving party establishes has established at such hearing a reasonable likeli-
43 hood of proving facts at trial sufficient to support an award of punitive dam-
44 ages. A prayer for relief added pursuant to this section shall not be barred
45 by lapse of time under any applicable limitation on the time in which an
46 action may be brought or claim asserted, if the time prescribed or limited had
47 not expired when the original pleading was filed.
48 (3) No judgment for punitive damages shall exceed the greater of two hun-
49 dred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or an amount which is three (3) times
50 the compensatory damages contained in such judgment. If a case is tried to a
51 jury, the jury shall not be informed of this limitation. The limitations on
1 noneconomic damages contained in this act section 6-1603, Idaho Code, are not
2 applicable to punitive damages.
3 (4) Nothing in this section is intended to change the rules of evidence
4 or standards of proof used by a trier of fact in finding punitive damages.
5 SECTION 4. That Section 13-202, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
6 amended to read as follows:
7 13-202. STAY OF PROCEEDINGS PENDING APPEAL. (1) Upon and after an appeal
8 of a judgment or order of the district court in a civil action, the judgment
9 or order appealed from, or any other order or proceeding in the action may be
10 stayed by the district court or the Ssupreme Ccourt as provided by Rrule of
11 the Ssupreme Ccourt.
12 (2) If a plaintiff in a civil action obtains a judgment for punitive dam-
13 ages, the supersedeas bond or cash deposit requirements shall be waived as to
14 that portion of the punitive damages that exceeds one million dollars
15 ($1,000,000) if the party or parties found liable seek a stay of enforcement
16 of the judgment during the appeal.
17 (3) If the plaintiff proves by a preponderance of the evidence that a
18 party bringing an appeal, for whom the supersedeas bond or cash deposit
19 requirement has been waived, is purposefully dissipating its assets or divert-
20 ing assets outside the jurisdiction of the United States courts, waiver may be
21 rescinded and the bond or cash deposit requirements may be reinstated for the
22 full amount of the judgment.
23 (4) The supersedeas bond or cash deposit requirements may also be waived
24 in any action for good cause shown as provided by rule of the supreme court.
25 SECTION 5. SEVERABILITY. The provisions of this act are hereby declared
26 to be severable and if any provision of this act or the application of such
27 provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason,
28 such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of
29 this act.
30 SECTION 6. This act shall be in full force and effect on and after July
31 1, 2003. Sections 1 through 3 of this act shall apply to all causes of action
32 which accrue thereafter. Section 4 of this act shall apply to all cases in
33 which an appeal is filed thereafter.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSERS12581
This legislation would modify rules for the determination
and imposition of tort liability in Idaho. It would modify
three provisions of tort reform enacted in 1987 but not
revisited since. It would clean up the repeal of joint and
several liability by repealing exceptions for environmental
damages and damages associated with medical devices and
pharmaceutical products. It would reduce the cap on
noneconomic damages to $250,000. It would impose limits on
punitive damages. Finally, it would modify the appeal bond
requirements to enable defendants to appeal large awards for
punitive damages by posting a bond for compensatory damages
and the first million dollars of punitive damages.
This bill will have no negative fiscal impact. To the
extent it makes civil disputes more efficient to resolve, it
should reduce costs for governmental units involved in those
Contact: Ken McClure
Statement of Purpose/Fiscal Impact H92