CSHB 292(L&C): "An Act relating to civil actions; amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 11, 49, 68, 82, and 95; and providing for an effective date."
00CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 292(L&C) 01 "An Act relating to civil actions; amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 11, 02 49, 68, 82, and 95; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that 05 (1) civil justice in this state has generally been developed by the courts on a 06 case-by-case basis; this process has resulted in some significant changes in the law, and the 07 legislature has periodically intervened to bring about needed reforms; 08 (2) the level of malpractice insurance premiums discourage physicians, 09 architects, engineers, attorneys, and other professionals from initiating or continuing their 10 practice or offering needed services to the public; 11 (3) society as a whole cannot afford the price of lawsuits years after 12 construction, manufacture, the delivery of services and other actions; the widespread use of 13 claims made insurance policies makes it impossible to adequately and economically insure 14 against actions for an unlimited period of time; likewise it is extremely difficult to defend
01 against a claim that has become stale after information and witnesses have disappeared; 02 (4) on the whole society is better served with a statute of repose even though 03 in a few limited instances injuries may go without compensation; 04 (5) hospitals that comply with the disclosure requirements set out in this Act 05 should not be liable for the negligence of independent contractors; to this extent this Act is 06 intended to overrule the case of Jackson v. Powers, 743 P.2d 1376 (Alaska 1987); 07 (6) the issues in the Act were intended to be addressed in a comprehensive 08 way in 1986; however, the legislation passed in 1986 fell short of accomplishing the goals of 09 the legislature and the problems that existed in 1986 still exist in 1993. 10 (b) It is the purpose of this Act to 11 (1) enact further reforms that create a more equitable distribution of the cost 12 and risk of injury; 13 (2) reduce costs associated with the civil justice system, while ensuring that 14 adequate and appropriate compensation for persons injured through the fault of others is 15 available; 16 (3) help match losses with compensation by helping to 17 (A) ensure that money paid to an injured person is available when 18 anticipated expenses or losses occur; 19 (B) ensure that a claimant with substantial injury requiring long-term 20 treatment will have money available for future medical care; 21 (C) reduce reparation system costs by eliminating those portions of 22 awards that are not needed to compensate the claimant; 23 (D) eliminate duplicate recoveries; and 24 (E) reduce the costs of litigation; 25 (4) ensure that in actions involving the fault of more than one person, the fault 26 of each claimant, defendant, third-party defendant, person who has been released from 27 liability, or other person responsible for the damages be determined and awards be allocated 28 in accordance with their fault; 29 (5) reduce the amount of litigation proceeding to trial by modifying the 30 allocation of attorney fees and court costs based on the offer of judgment and the final court 31 award thereby providing a financial incentive to both parties to settle the dispute;
01 (6) accumulate additional information concerning the costs to society of the 02 civil justice system as it is presently constituted by having the division of insurance compile 03 useful information and present a report to the legislature; this information is necessary to 04 determine whether the civil justice, health care, and insurance systems as they are presently 05 constituted are fairly serving victims and whether a disproportionate amount of compensation 06 dollars is absorbed by the system; 07 (7) enact a statute of repose that meets the tests set out in Turner Construction 08 Co., Inc. v. Scales, 752 P.2d 467 (Alaska 1988); 09 (8) clarify the circumstances in which hospitals are held directly liable for the 10 actions of health care providers not employed by the hospital. 11 * Sec. 2. AS 08.64 is amended by adding a new section to read: 12 Sec. 08.64.125. MEDICAL PRACTICE PARAMETERS. (a) The board shall 13 appoint a committee representative of medical specialties for the purpose of developing 14 medical practice parameters. The practice parameters shall, consistent with appropriate 15 standards of care, be designed to prevent claims of medical malpractice and to 16 eliminate the practice of defensive medicine undertaken to avoid civil litigation. 17 Medical practice parameters shall be adopted by the board by regulation and shall 18 apply to the practice of medicine in the areas of anesthesiology, obstetrics, gynecology, 19 emergency medicine, radiology, and other medical specialties determined by the 20 committee. 21 (b) Practice parameters developed under (a) of this section 22 (1) must consider the needs of health care consumers and others in the 23 health care system; 24 (2) are admissible as evidence in a civil action alleging professional 25 negligence brought against a person licensed under this chapter; and 26 (3) must be revised at least every two years. 27 * Sec. 3. AS 09.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 28 Sec. 09.10.052. CERTAIN ACTIONS THAT MUST BE BROUGHT IN SIX 29 YEARS. (a) Notwithstanding the disability of minority described under 30 AS 09.10.140(a), a person may not bring an action for personal injury, death, or 31 property damage unless commenced within six years of the earlier of the date
01 (1) a newly manufactured product was first used for its intended 02 purpose; however, the limitation of this paragraph does not apply to a claim for faulty 03 maintenance of a product; 04 (2) of substantial completion of the construction alleged to have caused 05 the personal injury, death, or property damage; or 06 (3) of the last act alleged to have caused the personal injury, death, or 07 property damage. 08 (b) This section does not apply if 09 (1) the personal injury, death, or property damage was caused 10 intentionally or resulted from gross negligence, fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, or 11 breach of an express warranty or guarantee; 12 (2) facts that would give notice of a potential cause of action are 13 intentionally concealed; or 14 (3) a shorter period of time for bringing the action is imposed under 15 another provision of law. 16 (c) The limitation imposed under (a) of this section is tolled during any period 17 in which there exists the undiscovered presence of a foreign body, that has no 18 therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the body of the injured person and the 19 action is based on the presence of the foreign body. 20 (d) In this section, "substantial completion" means the date when construction 21 is sufficiently completed to allow the owner or a person authorized by the owner to 22 occupy the improvement or to use the improvement in the manner for which it was 23 intended. 24 * Sec. 4. AS 09.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 25 Sec. 09.10.065. LIMITATION ON ACTIONS AGAINST HEALTH CARE 26 PROVIDERS. (a) Notwithstanding the disability of minority described under 27 AS 09.10.140(a), an action based on professional negligence may not be brought 28 against a health care provider if the injured person is, on the date of the alleged 29 negligent act or omission, less than six years of age, unless the action is brought before 30 the person's eighth birthday. 31 (b) This section does not apply if a longer period of time is allowed under
01 AS 09.10.075. 02 (c) The limitation imposed under (a) of this section is tolled during any period 03 in which there exists 04 (1) fraud, including fraud or collusion by a parent, guardian, insurer, 05 or health care provider, resulting in the failure to bring an action on behalf of an 06 injured minor; or 07 (2) intentional concealment of facts that would give notice of a 08 potential action. 09 (d) In this section, 10 (1) "health care provider" has the meaning given in AS 09.55.560; 11 (2) "professional negligence" means a negligent act or omission by a 12 health care provider in rendering professional services; 13 (3) "professional services" means services provided by a health care 14 provider that are within the scope of services for which the health care provider is 15 licensed, and that are not prohibited under the health care provider's license or by a 16 hospital in which the health care provider practices. 17 * Sec. 5. AS 09.10.070 is amended to read: 18 Sec. 09.10.070. ACTIONS TO BE BROUGHT IN TWO YEARS. Except as 19 otherwise provided by law, a [NO] person may not bring an action (1) for libel, 20 slander, assault, battery, seduction, or false imprisonment [, OR FOR ANY INJURY 21 TO THE PERSON OR RIGHTS OF ANOTHER NOT ARISING ON CONTRACT 22 AND NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED OTHERWISE]; (2) upon a statute for a 23 forfeiture or penalty to the state; or (3) upon a liability created by statute, other than 24 a penalty or forfeiture; unless commenced within two years. 25 * Sec. 6. AS 09.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 26 Sec. 09.10.075. LIMITATION ON ACTIONS INVOLVING INJURY TO 27 PERSON OR PROPERTY. (a) Notwithstanding the disability of minority described 28 under AS 09.10.140(a), a person may not bring an action for personal injury, death, 29 or property damage unless the action is brought within two years of the accrual of the 30 action. 31 (b) This section does not apply if a shorter period of time for bringing the
01 action is imposed under another provision of law, other than AS 09.10.065. 02 * Sec. 7. AS 09.17.010 is amended to read: 03 Sec. 09.17.010. NONECONOMIC DAMAGES. (a) In an action to recover 04 damages for personal injury or wrongful death, all damage claims [BASED ON 05 NEGLIGENCE, DAMAGES] for noneconomic losses shall be limited to compensation 06 for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of 07 enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other nonpecuniary damage. 08 (b) The amount of damages awarded by a court or a jury under (a) of this 09 section may not exceed $500,000 for all claims, including a loss of consortium 10 claim, arising out of a single injury or death [EACH CLAIM BASED ON A 11 SEPARATE INCIDENT OR INJURY]. 12 (c) The limit under (b) of this section does not apply to noneconomic damages 13 awarded by a court or jury against a person who was committing or attempting 14 to commit a class A or unclassified felony, if the person bringing the action was 15 a victim of that offense and the action is based in that offense. In this subsection, 16 "victim" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185 [FOR DISFIGUREMENT OR 17 SEVERE PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT]. 18 * Sec. 8. AS 09.17.020 is amended to read: 19 Sec. 09.17.020. PUNITIVE DAMAGES. Punitive damages may not be 20 awarded in an action, whether in tort, contract, or otherwise, unless supported by clear 21 and convincing evidence of malice or conscious acts showing deliberate disregard 22 of another person by the person from whom the punitive damages are sought. 23 * Sec. 9. AS 09.17.020 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 24 (b) The amount of punitive damages awarded by a court or jury under (a) of 25 this section may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded 26 or $200,000, whichever amount is greater. 27 (c) The limit under (b) of this section does not apply to punitive damages 28 awarded by a court or jury against a person committing or attempting to commit a 29 class A or unclassified felony if the person bringing the action was a victim of that 30 offense and the action is based on that offense. In this subsection, "victim" has the 31 meaning given in AS 12.55.185.
01 * Sec. 10. AS 09.17.030 is amended to read: 02 Sec. 09.17.030. DAMAGES RESULTING FROM COMMISSION OF A 03 CRIME. A person who suffers personal injury or death may not recover damages for 04 the personal injury or death if the injuries or death occurred while the person was 05 committing or attempting to commit a felony, or fleeing from [ENGAGED IN] the 06 commission of a felony, [THE PERSON HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF THE 07 FELONY, INCLUDING CONVICTION BASED ON A GUILTY PLEA OR PLEA 08 OF NOLO CONTENDERE,] and the action [FELONY] substantially contributed to 09 the injury or death. [THIS SECTION DOES NOT AFFECT A RIGHT OF ACTION 10 UNDER 42 U.S.C. 1983.] 11 * Sec. 11. AS 09.17.040(a) is amended to read: 12 (a) In every case where damages for personal injury or death are awarded by 13 the court or jury [,] 14 (1) the verdict shall be itemized between economic loss and 15 noneconomic loss, if any, as follows: 16 (A) [(1)] past economic loss; 17 (B) [(2)] past noneconomic loss; 18 (C) [(3)] future economic loss; 19 (D) [(4)] future noneconomic loss; [AND] 20 (E) [(5)] punitive damages; and 21 (2) the amount of economic damages awarded for past or future 22 gross earnings shall be reduced by the amount of federal and state income tax 23 that would be paid on the earnings under tax rates in effect on the date of the 24 injury or death. 25 * Sec. 12. AS 09.17.040(d) is amended to read: 26 (d) In an action to recover damages, the court shall, at the request of a [AN 27 INJURED] party, enter judgment ordering that amounts awarded a judgment creditor 28 for future damages be paid to the maximum extent feasible by periodic payments 29 rather than by a lump-sum payment. If a portion of the judgment awarded is owed 30 to an attorney under a contingent fee agreement, that portion of the judgment 31 shall be reduced to present value and paid in a lump sum.
01 * Sec. 13. AS 09.17.040(e) is amended to read: 02 (e) Except as provided in this subsection, if a judgment is paid by periodic 03 payments, the [THE] court shall [MAY] require security be posted [,] in order to 04 ensure that funds are available as periodic payments become due. The court may not 05 require security to be posted if an authorized insurer, as defined in AS 21.90.900, 06 acknowledges to the court its obligation to discharge the judgment. 07 * Sec. 14. AS 09.17.040(f) is amended to read: 08 (f) A judgment ordering payment of future damages for personal injury or 09 death by periodic payment shall specify the recipient, the dollar amount of the 10 payments, including any increases in future payments for anticipated inflation, the 11 interval between payments, and the number of payments or the period of time over 12 which payments shall be made. Payments may be modified only in the event of the 13 death of the judgment creditor, in which case payments may not be reduced or 14 terminated, but shall be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty 15 of support, as provided by law, immediately before death. In the event the judgment 16 creditor owed no duty of support to dependents at the time of the judgment creditor's 17 death, the money remaining shall be distributed in accordance with a will of the 18 deceased judgment creditor accepted into probate or under the intestate laws of the 19 state if the deceased had no will. 20 * Sec. 15. AS 09.17.070 is repealed and reenacted to read: 21 Sec. 09.17.070. COLLATERAL BENEFITS. (a) Except when the collateral 22 source is a federally funded program that by law must seek subrogation or when the 23 collateral source has a right of subrogation by law or contract, and except for death 24 benefits paid under life insurance, a claimant in an action for personal injury or death 25 may only recover damages that exceed amounts received by the claimant, or that with 26 reasonable probability will be received in the future by the claimant, as compensation 27 for the injuries from collateral sources, whether private, group, or governmental, and 28 whether contributory or noncontributory. 29 (b) A person defending a claim may introduce into evidence an amount paid 30 or payable as a benefit to the claimant as a result of the personal injury or death under 31 42 U.S.C. 301 - 1397 (Social Security Act); a state or federal disability or workers'
01 compensation act; health, sickness, disability, accident, or income-disability insurance; 02 insurance that provides health benefits or income-disability coverage; and a contract 03 or agreement of a group, organization, partnership, or corporation, or other collateral 04 source, to provide, pay for, or reimburse the cost of medical, hospital, dental, or other 05 health care services, disability, or lost wages. However, evidence of a collateral source 06 that has a right of subrogation under law or contract may not be introduced under this 07 subsection. If a person defending a claim elects to introduce evidence described in this 08 subsection, the claimant may introduce evidence of the amount that the claimant has 09 paid or contributed to secure the claimant's right to an insurance or contractual benefit 10 introduced by the person defending the claim as evidence. 11 (c) Unless evidence of a collateral source has already been introduced under 12 (b) of this section, evidence of a collateral source, other than a federal program that 13 by law must seek subrogation or when the collateral source has a right of subrogation 14 by law or contract, and except for a death benefit paid under life insurance, is only 15 admissible after the fact finder has rendered an award. The court may take into 16 account the value of the claimant's rights to coverage exhausted or depleted by 17 payment of the collateral benefit by adding back a reasonable estimate of their 18 probable value, or by designating and holding for possible periodic payment under 19 AS 09.17.040 that amount of the award that would otherwise have been deducted, to 20 determine if the impairment of the claimant's rights actually takes place in the future. 21 (d) A person who provides a collateral benefit admissible under (a) or (b) of 22 this section may not recover any amount against the claimant as reimbursement for 23 those benefits and may not be subrogated to the rights of a claimant against a person 24 defending a claim. 25 * Sec. 16. AS 09.17.080(a) is amended to read: 26 (a) In all actions involving fault of more than one person [PARTY TO THE 27 ACTION], including third-party defendants and persons who have been released under 28 AS 09.17.091 [AS 09.16.040], the court, unless otherwise agreed by all parties, shall 29 instruct the jury to answer special interrogatories or, if there is no jury, shall make 30 findings, indicating 31 (1) the amount of damages each claimant would be entitled to recover
01 if contributory fault is disregarded; and 02 (2) the percentage of the total fault [OF ALL OF THE PARTIES TO 03 EACH CLAIM] that is allocated to each claimant, defendant, third-party defendant, 04 [AND] person who has been released from liability under AS 09.17.091, or other 05 person responsible for the damages to each claimant regardless of whether the 06 other person is or could have been named as a party to the action [AS 09.16.040]. 07 * Sec. 17. AS 09.17.080(c) is amended to read: 08 (c) The court shall determine the award of damages to each claimant in 09 accordance with the findings, subject to a reduction under AS 09.17.091 10 [AS 09.16.040], and enter judgment against each party liable. The court also shall 11 determine and state in the judgment each party's equitable share of the obligation to 12 each claimant in accordance with the respective percentages of fault as determined 13 under (a) of this section. An assessment of a percentage of fault against a person 14 who is not a party may only be used as a measure for accurately determining the 15 percentages of fault of a named party. Assessment of a percentage of fault 16 against a person who is not a party does not subject that person to civil liability 17 in this or another action and may not be used as evidence of civil liability in 18 another action. 19 * Sec. 18. AS 09.17 is amended by adding a new section to read: 20 Sec. 09.17.091. EFFECT OF RELEASE. When a release or covenant not to 21 sue or not to enforce judgment is given in good faith to one of two or more persons 22 civilly liable for the same injury or the same wrongful death 23 (1) it does not discharge any of the other persons from liability for the 24 injury or wrongful death unless its terms so provide; but it reduces the claim against 25 the others to the extent of any amount stipulated by the release or the covenant, or in 26 the amount of the consideration paid for it, whichever is the greater; and 27 (2) it discharges the person to whom it is given from all liability for 28 contribution to any other person. 29 * Sec. 19. AS 09.30.065 is amended to read: 30 Sec. 09.30.065. OFFERS OF JUDGMENT. At any time more than 10 days 31 before the trial begins either the party making a claim or the party defending against
01 a claim may serve upon the adverse party an offer to allow judgment to be entered in 02 complete satisfaction of the claim for the money or property or to the effect specified 03 in the offer, with cost then accrued. If within 10 days after the service of the offer the 04 adverse party serves written notice that the offer is accepted, either party may then file 05 the offer and notice of acceptance together with proof of service, and the clerk shall 06 enter judgment. An offer not accepted within 10 days is considered withdrawn and 07 evidence of that offer is not admissible except in a proceeding to determine the form 08 of judgment after verdict. If the judgment finally entered on the claim as to which an 09 offer has been made under this section is not more favorable to the offeree than the 10 offer, the offeree shall pay the actual costs and attorney fees incurred by the 11 offeror from the date the offer was made [THE INTEREST AWARDED UNDER 12 AS 09.30.070 AND ACCRUED UP TO THE DATE JUDGMENT IS ENTERED 13 SHALL BE ADJUSTED AS FOLLOWS: 14 (1) IF THE OFFEREE IS THE PARTY MAKING THE CLAIM, THE 15 INTEREST RATE SHALL BE REDUCED BY FIVE PERCENT A YEAR; 16 (2) IF THE OFFEREE IS THE PARTY DEFENDING AGAINST THE 17 CLAIM, THE INTEREST RATE SHALL BE INCREASED BY FIVE PERCENT A 18 YEAR]. 19 * Sec. 20. AS 09.30.070(a) is amended to read: 20 (a) The rate of interest on judgments and decrees for the payment of money 21 is three percent above the 12th Federal Reserve District discount rate in effect on 22 January 2 of the year in which the judgment or decree is entered [10.5 PERCENT 23 A YEAR], except that a judgment or decree founded on a contract in writing, 24 providing for the payment of interest until paid at a specified rate not exceeding the 25 legal rate of interest for that type of contract, bears interest at the rate specified in the 26 contract if the interest rate is set out in the judgment or decree. 27 * Sec. 21. AS 09.30.070 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 28 (c) Prejudgment interest may not be awarded for future economic damages, 29 future noneconomic damages, or for punitive damages. 30 * Sec. 22. AS 09.55.535(k) is amended to read: 31 (k) The provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act, AS 09.43.010 - 09.43.180,
01 apply to arbitrations under this section if they do not conflict with the provisions of 02 this section; arbitrations under this section shall be conducted in accordance with 03 procedures established by any rules of court which may be adopted and according to 04 provisions of AS 09.55.540 - 09.55.547 [AS 09.55.540 - 09.55.548] and AS 09.55.554 05 - 09.55.560, and AS 09.65.090. 06 * Sec. 23. AS 09.55.580(a) is amended to read: 07 (a) Except as provided under (f) of this section, when the death of a person 08 is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representatives of 09 the former may maintain an action therefor against the latter, if the former might have 10 maintained an action, had the person lived, against the latter for an injury done by the 11 same act or omission. The action shall be commenced within two years after the 12 death, and the damages therein shall be the damages the court or jury may consider 13 fair and just. The amount recovered, if any, shall be exclusively for the benefit of the 14 decedent's spouse and children when the decedent is survived by a spouse or children, 15 or other dependents. When the decedent is survived by no spouse or children or other 16 dependents, the amount recovered shall be administered as other personal property of 17 the decedent but shall be limited to economic [PECUNIARY] loss. When the plaintiff 18 prevails, the trial court shall determine the allowable costs and expenses of the action 19 and may, in its discretion, require notice and hearing thereon. The amount recovered 20 shall be distributed only after payment of all costs and expenses of suit and debts and 21 expenses of administration. 22 * Sec. 24. AS 09.55.580(c) is amended to read: 23 (c) Except as provided in AS 09.17.010 and (g) of this section, in [IN] 24 fixing the amount of damages to be awarded under this section, the court or jury shall 25 consider all the facts and circumstances and from them fix the award at a sum which 26 will fairly compensate for the injury resulting from the death. In determining the 27 amount of the award, the court or jury shall consider but is not limited to the 28 following: 29 (1) deprivation of the expectation of economic [PECUNIARY] benefits 30 to the beneficiary or beneficiaries, without regard to age thereof, that would have 31 resulted from the continued life of the deceased and without regard to probable
01 accumulations or what the deceased may have saved during the lifetime of the 02 deceased; 03 (2) loss of contributions for support; 04 (3) loss of assistance or services irrespective of age or relationship of 05 decedent to the beneficiary or beneficiaries; 06 (4) loss of consortium; 07 (5) loss of prospective training and education; 08 (6) medical and funeral expenses. 09 * Sec. 25. AS 09.55.580 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 10 (g) The amount awarded by the court or jury under this section for economic 11 damages may not exceed $10,000 if the deceased is not survived by a spouse, minor 12 child, or dependent. In this subsection, "dependent" means a father, mother, child, 13 grandchild, or sibling who was dependent on the deceased at the time of death. 14 (h) The limit under (g) of this section does not apply to damages awarded by 15 a court or jury against a person committing or attempting to commit a class A or 16 unclassified felony if the deceased was a victim of that offense and the action is based 17 on that offense. In this subsection, "victim" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185. 18 * Sec. 26. AS 09.60.010 is repealed and reenacted to read: 19 Sec. 09.60.010. COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES ALLOWED PREVAILING 20 PARTY. The supreme court shall determine by rule or order the costs, if any, that 21 may be allowed a prevailing party in a civil action. Unless specifically authorized by 22 statute or by agreement between the parties, attorney fees may not be awarded to a 23 party in a civil action for personal injury, death, or property damage related to or 24 arising out of fault. In this section, "fault" has the meaning given in AS 09.17.900. 25 * Sec. 27. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 26 Sec. 09.65.096. CIVIL LIABILITY OF HOSPITALS FOR NONEMPLOYEES. 27 (a) A hospital is not liable for civil damages as a result of an act or omission by a 28 health care provider who is not an employee or actual agent of the hospital if the 29 hospital provides notice that the health care provider is an independent contractor. The 30 notice required by this subsection must be posted conspicuously in all admitting areas 31 of the hospital, published at least annually in a newspaper of general circulation in the
01 area, and must be in substantially the following form: 02 Notice of Limited Liability 03 The following health care providers are independent contractors 04 and are not employees of the hospital: 05 (List specific health care providers) 06 The hospital is responsible for exercising reasonable care in granting staff privileges 07 to practice in the hospital, for reviewing those privileges on a regular basis, and for 08 taking appropriate steps to revoke or restrict privileges in appropriate circumstances. 09 The hospital is not otherwise liable for the acts or omissions of a health care provider 10 who is an independent contractor. 11 (b) This section does not preclude liability for civil damages that are the 12 proximate result of the hospital's own negligence or intentional misconduct. 13 (c) In this section, 14 (1) "health care provider" has the meaning given in AS 18.23.070, 15 except that it does not include a hospital or an employee of the hospital; 16 (2) "hospital" has the meaning given in AS 18.20.130 and includes a 17 governmentally owned or operated hospital. 18 * Sec. 28. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 19 Sec. 09.65.125. SIGNING OF PLEADINGS, MOTIONS, AND OTHER 20 PAPERS; SANCTIONS. Every pleading, motion, and other paper of a party 21 represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the 22 attorney's individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not 23 represented by an attorney shall sign the party's pleading, motion, or other paper and 24 state the party's address. Except when otherwise specifically provided by the Alaska 25 Rules of Civil Procedure or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by 26 affidavit. The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by the signer 27 that the signer has read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of the 28 signer's knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry it is well 29 grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument of the 30 extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and that it is not interposed for any 31 improper purpose, including to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless
01 increase in the cost of litigation. If a pleading, motion, or other paper is not signed, 02 it shall be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the 03 attention of the pleader or movant. If it is alleged or appears that a pleading, motion, 04 or other paper is signed in violation of this section, the court, upon motion or upon its 05 own initiative, shall immediately set the matter for hearing. If the court determines 06 that a pleading, motion, or other paper is signed in violation of this section, the court 07 shall impose upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both, an 08 appropriate sanction that shall include an order to pay to the other party the amount 09 of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion, or 10 other paper, including reasonable attorney fees, and monetary sanctions that are not 11 less than $500 nor more than $10,000. 12 * Sec. 29. AS 09.17.040(c) and AS 09.55.548 are repealed. 13 * Sec. 30. AS 09.17.080(a), as amended in sec. 16 of this Act, has the effect of amending 14 Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 49 by requiring the jury to answer the special interrogatory 15 listed in AS 09.17.080(a)(2), regarding the percentages of fault to be allocated among the 16 parties. 17 * Sec. 31. AS 09.30.065, as amended by sec. 19 of this Act, has the effect of amending 18 Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 68 by providing that if a judgment is not more favorable to 19 the offeree than the offer, the offeree shall pay actual costs and attorney fees incurred by the 20 offeror. 21 * Sec. 32. AS 09.30.070(c), added by sec. 21 of this Act, has the effect of amending 22 Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 68 by providing that prejudgment interest may not be awarded 23 for future economic or noneconomic damages. 24 * Sec. 33. AS 09.60.010, as repealed and reenacted by sec. 26 of this Act, has the effect 25 of amending Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 82 by providing that attorney fees may not be 26 awarded in a civil action for personal injury, death, or property damage, unless authorized by 27 statute or by agreement of the parties. 28 * Sec. 34. AS 09.65.125, added by sec. 28 of this Act, has the effect of amending Alaska 29 Rules of Civil Procedure 11 and 95 by requiring an immediate hearing to consider appropriate 30 sanctions for certain failures relating to the signing of pleadings, motions, or other papers. 31 * Sec. 35. REPORT. (a) The division of insurance shall compile information necessary
01 to determine if the civil justice system is adequately serving claimants and whether a 02 disproportionate amount of compensation dollars are being absorbed by the system. In 03 examining the civil justice system, the division of insurance shall consider the effect of the 04 health care and insurance systems in the state. 05 (b) The information compiled under (a) of this section shall be reported back to the 06 legislature by June 1, 1995. 07 * Sec. 36. TRANSITION. The State Medical Board shall adopt by regulation the initial 08 practice parameters required under AS 08.64.125, enacted by sec. 2 of this Act, by January 1, 09 1997. 10 * Sec. 37. SEVERABILITY. Under AS 01.10.030, if any provision of this Act, or the 11 application of a provision of this Act to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the 12 remainder of this Act and the application to other persons shall not be affected. 13 * Sec. 38. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to all causes of action accruing on or after 14 the effective date of this Act. 15 * Sec. 39. This Act takes effect July 1, 1994.