HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2459

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO TORT LIABILITY.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to amend section 663-10.9(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes, to define what constitutes "similar circumstances" of a prior occurrence that are required to show that an affected joint tortfeasor had reasonable prior notice that would allow recovery of noneconomic damages and to prohibit recovery in instances where there has been no reasonable prior notice.

SECTION 2. Section 663-10.9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"663-10.9 Abolition of joint and several liability; exceptions. Joint and several liability for joint tortfeasors as defined in section 663-11 is abolished except in the following circumstances:

(1) For the recovery of economic damages against joint tortfeasors in actions involving injury or death to persons;

(2) For the recovery of economic and noneconomic damages against joint tortfeasors in actions involving:

(A) Intentional torts;

(B) Torts relating to environmental pollution;

(C) Toxic and asbestos-related torts;

(D) Torts relating to aircraft accidents;

(E) Strict and products liability torts; or

(F) Torts relating to motor vehicle accidents except as provided in paragraph (4);

(3) For the recovery of noneconomic damages in actions, other than those enumerated in paragraph (2), involving injury or death to persons against those tortfeasors whose individual degree of negligence is found to be twenty-five per cent or more under section 663-31. Where a tortfeasor's degree of negligence is less than twenty-five per cent, then the amount recoverable against that tortfeasor for noneconomic damages shall be in direct proportion to the degree of negligence assigned; and

(4) For recovery of noneconomic damages in motor vehicle accidents involving tort actions relating to the maintenance and design of highways including actions involving guardrails, utility poles, street and directional signs, and any other highway-related device upon a showing that the affected joint tortfeasor was given reasonable prior notice of a prior occurrence under similar circumstances to the occurrence upon which the tort claim is based. [In actions in which the affected joint tortfeasor has not been shown to have had such reasonable prior notice, the recovery of noneconomic damages shall be as provided in paragraph (3).] For purposes of this paragraph, "similar circumstances" means: (A) at the same location; (B) involving the same highway-related device or condition alleged to have caused the occurrence; and (C) the condition of the roadway at the time of the prior occurrence is in a substantially similar condition as at the time of the occurrence upon which the tort claim is based;

(5) Provided, however, that joint and several liability for economic and noneconomic damages for claims against design professionals, as defined in chapter 672, and certified public accountants, as defined in chapter 466, is abolished in actions not involving physical injury or death to persons."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

BY REQUEST


 


 

Report Title:

Tort Liability

 

Description:

Clarifies the definition of "similar circumstances" concerning joint liability in certain motor vehicle accidents.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.