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This document includes Senate Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Fri, Feb 20, 2004 at 3:11 PM by smaeser. --> 1
6 LONG TITLE
7 General Description:
8 This bill makes changes concerning the division of punitive damage awards with the
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . requires that the state's portion of a punitive damage award be paid directly to the
13 state by the judgment debtor;
14 . puts the state on the same footing as another judgment creditor when collecting
15 punitive damages; and
16 . prescribes a priority and order for the payment of punitive damages.
17 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
19 Other Special Clauses:
21 Utah Code Sections Affected:
23 78-18-1, as last amended by Chapters 200 and 314, Laws of Utah 2002
25 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26 Section 1. Section 78-18-1 is amended to read:
27 78-18-1. Basis for punitive damages awards -- Section inapplicable to DUI cases
29 (1) (a) Except as otherwise provided by statute, punitive damages may be awarded only
30 if compensatory or general damages are awarded and it is established by clear and convincing
31 evidence that the acts or omissions of the tortfeasor are the result of willful and malicious or
32 intentionally fraudulent conduct, or conduct that manifests a knowing and reckless indifference
33 toward, and a disregard of, the rights of others.
34 (b) The limitations, standards of evidence, and standards of conduct of Subsection
35 (1)(a) do not apply to any claim for punitive damages arising out of the tortfeasor's operation of
36 a motor vehicle or motorboat while voluntarily intoxicated or under the influence of any drug
37 or combination of alcohol and drugs as prohibited by Section 41-6-44 .
38 (c) The award of a penalty under Section 78-11-15 or 78-11-16 regarding shoplifting is
39 not subject to the prior award of compensatory or general damages under Subsection (1)(a)
40 whether or not restitution has been paid to the merchant prior to or as a part of a civil action
41 under Section 78-11-15 or 78-11-16 .
42 (2) Evidence of a party's wealth or financial condition shall be admissible only after a
43 finding of liability for punitive damages has been made.
44 (3) (a) In any S [
44a JUDGMENT SHALL PROVIDE THAT s 50% of the
45 amount of the punitive damages in excess of $20,000 shall, S [
46 allowable deduction for the payment of attorneys' fees and costs, be remitted by the judgment
47 debtor to the state treasurer for deposit into the General Fund.
48 (b) For the purposes of this Subsection (3), an "allowable deduction for the payment of
49 attorneys' fees and costs" shall equal the amount of actual and reasonable attorneys' fees and
50 costs incurred by the judgment creditor S [
51 amount of any separate judgment awarding attorneys' fees and costs to the judgment creditor.
52 (c) The state shall have all rights due a judgment creditor until the judgment is
53 satisfied, and stand on equal footing with the judgment creditor of the original case in securing
54 a recovery.
55 (d) Unless all affected parties, including the state, expressly agree otherwise or the
56 application is contrary to the terms of the judgment, any payment on the judgment by or on
57 behalf of any judgment debtor, whether voluntary or by execution or otherwise, shall be
58 applied in the following order:
60 S [
62 S [
Legislative Review Note
as of 2-11-04 9:43 AM
A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.