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NAMIC 2006 Survey of New State Insurance Laws Summary and Analysis

Tort Reform

Asbestos and Silica Reform

Kansas SB 512 enacts the Silica and Asbestos Claims Act. South Carolina SB 1038 provides that, except for claims based on mesothelioma, no person may bring an asbestos or silica claim without first demonstrating a physician’s diagnosis of an asbestos or silica-related disease based on analysis of an occupational and exposure history and the person’s medical history. South Carolina SB 1163 enacts the Successor Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act.


Florida HB 841 limits the amount of supersedeas bond required for certain appellants. Hawaii HB 3250 limits the amount of any supersedeas bond that may be required to stay execution of a judgment on a civil case pending appeal. Oklahoma SB 1701 requires certain bonds from rebuilders applying for a certificate and modifies fees paid by manufactured home builders. Virginia HB 1275 eliminates the ability of an individual to recover costs and attorney’s fees from surety in a civil action to determine what coverage exists under a bond.

Class Actions

Florida HB 7259 provides requirements for capacity to file a class action and eliminates private class action recovery of statutory penalties in certain actions unless actual damages are alleged and proven.

Construction Defects

California AB 2455 provides that a small claims court would have jurisdiction in an action brought by a natural person against the Registrar of the Contractors State License Board. Florida HB 1139 revises provisions to expand application to construction defects in any property other than public transportation projects. Oklahoma SB 1749 allows purchaser 90 days to make a written complaint of defects against a contractor with a required response period. South Carolina SB 807 provides procedures for right to cure nonresidential construction defects before a civil action or other remedy provided by law or contract is instituted or continued. Wisconsin SB 448 relates to contractor’s notices, claims against certain contractors and suppliers of dwellings.

Joint and Several Liability

Florida HB 145 deletes exceptions to a requirement for liability based on percentage of fault instead of joint and several liability. Hawaii HB 2899 clarifies that liens do not continue beyond the time period that the underlying judgment, order, or decree is in force.


Georgia SB 306 changes a provision relating to the effect of release or covenant not to sue on hospital and other medical provider liens.

Medical Malpractice

Eight states enacted medical malpractice-related laws. They include California SB 1438, which relates to information concerning settlements, arbitration awards and judgments in malpractice actions. Connecticut HB 5371 relates to an extended reporting period coverage under medical malpractice insurance policies. Michigan HB 5256 provides the notification procedures for the nonrenewal or cancellations of a medical malpractice insurance policy.

Missouri HB 1837 changes the laws regarding medical malpractice insurance and the enforcement powers of the Department of Insurance and creates the Health Care Stabilization Fund Feasibility Board. New York SB 8119 provides certain established limitations on the risks of insurers shall not apply to insurers who primary liability arises from the business of medical malpractice insurance. Virginia HB 1001 limits the circumstances pursuant to which insurers are required to provide notice of reduction in coverage or increase in premiums. Wisconsin AB 1073 relates to recovery of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Wyoming HB 81 extends deadline to March 30, 2007 for physicians to apply through the Department of Health for medical malpractice premium assistance.


California AB 1553 tolls the time period for a party to demand or commence arbitration of a controversy pursuant to an arbitration agreement when the party commences a civil action in court based on that controversy. California AB 2618 updates various code sections that provide for small claims court jurisdiction in specified circumstances to conform to the new small claims court jurisdiction section. Hawaii SB 2283 provides no cause of action shall arise nor shall any liability be imposed against any examiner appointed or otherwise designated as an examiner by the commissioner for any statements made or conduct performed in good faith while carrying out the provisions of the insurance code.

Indiana HB 1113 grants immunity from civil liability for certain persons involved in the food industry as to a claim concerning weight gain, obesity, a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity. Kansas SB 442 allows lienholders and mortgagees to be shown on an application for insurance. Michigan HB 4778 relates to liability for injuries sustained by renters and users of rented non-motorized watercraft while HB 5375 provides immunity for retired physicians providing volunteer health care for medically indigent individuals. Michigan HB 6248 relates to the waiver of customer liability agreements and SB 541 related to the revised structured settlement protection act. Ohio SB 117 specifies a number of tort-related reforms, including the nature of damages that may be recovered in certain actions based on unfair or deceptive sales practices.

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:20:52 PM.

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