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Tort Reform Since 1986 - By State
2005 Tort Reform Summary > Tort Reform Since 1986 - By State

Type of Reform Number
of States
Summary   States That Have Enacted the Reform

Modify Joint-and-Several Liability 38 States have based the amount for which a defendant can be held liable on the proportion of fault attributed, but the formulas differ substantially from state to state. In addition, most of the reforms apply to specific types of torts or have other restrictions.   Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Modify the Collateral-Source Rule 25 Typical reforms either permit evidence of collateral-source payments to be admitted at trial, allow awards to plaintiffs to be offset by other payments, or both.   Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia,* Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,* Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon
Limit Noneconomic Damages 23 The caps range from $250,000 to $750,000. More than half of the reforms apply to torts involving medical malpractice.   Alabama,* Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois,* Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire,* North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,* Texas, Washington,* West Virginia, Wisconsin
Limit Punitive Damages 34 Various types of limits include outright bans; fixed dollar caps ranging from $250,000 to $10 million; and caps equal to a multiple of compensatory awards.   Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois,* Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

Table Source: Congressional Budget Office, The Effects of Tort Reform: Evidence from the States (June 2004), available at http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5549

* The only relevant law enacted since 1986 was found to violate the state's constitution.

Data Source: American Tort Reform Association, Tort Reform Record (December 31, 2003), pp. 2-3, available at www.atra.org/files.cgi/7668_Record12-03.pdf.

Notes: The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) does not list reforms enacted prior to 1986, when the association was founded. Although the ATRA lists Vermont as enacting reform of joint-and-several liability since 1986, Vermont actually enacted that reform in 1985.

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