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Tort Reform Act

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Governor Swanner, for himself, introduces

A BILL

To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

(a) This act shall be cited as the Tort Reform Act.

SEC. 2. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

(a) In general, the statute of limitations is three years after the occurrence of the breach or tort, three years after medical or health-care treatment for the injury is completed, or one year after the claimant discovers the injury, whichever occurs first.

(b) For a minor, the statute of limitations is three years after the occurrence of the breach or tort or three years after medical or health-care treatment for the injury is completed, whichever occurs first, except for a minor under six years old, for whom it is the later of three years after the occurrence of the breach or tort, three years after medical or health-care treatment for the injury is completed, one year after discovery of the injury, or the minor's eighth birthday. 

SEC. 3. LIMITATION OF NONECONOMIC DAMAGES.

(a) Noneconomic damages are limited to $250,000, before accounting for reductions in damages required by law.

(b) Juries may not be informed of this limitation.

(c) Parties are liable for the amount of damages directly proportional to their responsibility.

(d) These provisions do not preempt state laws that specify a particular monetary amount of damages.

(e) Courts must supervise the payment of damages and may restrict attorney contingent fees. 

SEC. 4. OTHER PROVISIONS.

(a) A health care provider who prescribes, or dispenses pursuant to a prescription, a medical product approved by the Food and Drug Administration may not be a party to a product liability lawsuit or a class action lawsuit regarding the medical product.

(b) The bill applies to health care lawsuits initiated after enactment, and lawsuits are governed by the statue of limitations applicable at the time of injury.

SEC. 5. ENACTMENT.

(a) Unless otherwise stated, this act shall take effect immediately.

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