Senate Bill No. 293
(By Senators Carmichael and Jenkins)
[Introduced January 8, 2014; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-27, relating to limiting the amount of punitive damages recoverable in a personal injury or wrongful death action.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-27, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-27. Limits on punitive damages.
(a) In an action to recover damages for personal injury or wrongful death, the maximum amount recoverable as punitive damages may not exceed $500,000, or two times the plaintiff's compensatory damages award, whichever is less.
(b) For purposes of this section, "punitive damages" means noncompensatory damages awarded against a party in a personal injury or wrongful death action to penalize that party or to provide a deterrence to discourage similar conduct by that party in the future.
(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to create a claim for punitive damages not existing in this code at the time of enactment of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to place limits on the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded in a personal injury or wrongful death action.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.