Ashton Marra Published

Senators Approve Bill to Cap Punitive Damages After Failed Vote


Senators reconsidered a bill Thursday that previously would have capped the punitive damages awarded in a civil lawsuit and also give the state a portion of the award. Wednesday, two Republican Senators voted against the measure.

The bill as originally considered would have capped the punitive damages a jury could award at three times compensatory damages won in a case or $500,000, whichever is greater.

It also included a provision to give one third of any award over the half million dollar threshold to the state to deposit in the Rainy Day Fund. Senator Chris Walters disagreed with that portion of the bill and voted against it

Democratic Senator Corey Palumbo and Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump, a Republican, came up with a compromise overnight which they presented to the full chamber Thursday. 

The amendment adjusted would adjust the cap in from three  to four times compensatory damages and removed the state share of a punitive damages award.

The changes were adopted and the bill approved 26 to 8 with only Democrats voting against it.