Chief Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto

House Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow

6     Cosponsors:
7     Lyle W. Hillyard
Howard A. Stephenson


10     General Description:
11          This bill addresses a study of personal injury claims that exceed a statutory limit.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This bill:
14          ▸     encourages the formation of an informal working group or task force to study how
15     to address statutory limits on individual and aggregate claims for damages for
16     personal injury and to present its findings, conclusions, and conceptual outline for
17     any suggested legislation to the Legislature before the 2017 General Session.
18     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19          None
20     Other Special Clauses:
21          None
22     Uncodified Material Affected:

25     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26          Section 1. Study regarding personal injury damages claims that exceed the
27     statutory limit.
28          (1) Utah Code Section 63G-7-604 currently contains a limit on the amount that an

29     individual may claim against a governmental entity for damages for personal injury, and a limit
30     on the aggregate amount of individual awards that may be awarded in relation to a single
31     occurrence.
32          (2) If an individual's claim against a governmental entity for damages for personal
33     injury exceeds the amount of that statutory limit, the individual cannot recover the amount of
34     damages that exceed the statutory limit, or the individual has the option of seeking recovery of
35     some or all of that amount through a process before the state Board of Examiners. Likewise, if
36     multiple individuals' claims against a governmental entity for damages for personal injury
37     arising from the same occurrence exceed the aggregate limit, those individuals cannot recover
38     the amount of damages that exceed the statutory limit, or those individuals have the option of
39     seeking recovery of some or all of that amount through a process before the state Board of
40     Examiners.
41          (3) Some have expressed an interest in exploring possible alternatives to the current
42     system in order to enable those with legitimate claims for personal injury damages that exceed
43     the statutory limits to recover their damages while still protecting taxpayer money against large
44     personal injury damage claims.
45          (4) This issue is very complex, and formulating a workable alternative to the current
46     system will require the thoughtful participation of a number of stakeholders.
47          (5) The Legislature encourages the formation of a voluntary, informal working group
48     or task force:
49          (a) to study possible options to the current statutory system for dealing with legitimate,
50     large individual and aggregate personal injury damage claims, while still protecting taxpayer
51     money and limited government resources; and
52          (b) with representation from:
53          (i) the Division of Risk Management;
54          (ii) the Insurance Department;
55          (iii) state agencies covered under the Risk Management Fund;
56          (iv) local governments, including counties, cities, towns, local districts, special service

57     districts, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state;
58          (v) the Office of the Attorney General;
59          (vi) trial lawyers representing personal injury plaintiffs;
60          (vii) the insurance industry;
61          (viii) the Utah Public Risk Manager's Association; and
62          (ix) other groups, associations, or entities with an interest in the issue described in
63     Subsection (3).
64          (6) The working group or task force should seek and receive input from affected or
65     interested parties, including private individuals who regularly use public facilities and private
66     individuals or companies that perform services for public agencies.
67          (7) Among other things, the working group or task force might consider studying:
68          (a) the effectiveness of the process of presenting a claim before the state Board of
69     Examiners and any options for improving the process or replacing it with a better process;
70          (b) the feasibility of creating a fund or risk pool, with participation from state agencies
71     and local government entities, to provide money or insurance coverage or both for individual
72     and aggregate personal injury damage claims that exceed the statutory limit;
73          (c) the modification of the statutory limit on personal injury individual and aggregate
74     damages; and
75          (d) any other alternatives the working group or task force considers appropriate to
76     address the issues described in this section.
77          (8) The working group or task force should present its findings and conclusions and
78     prepare a recommendation, with a conceptual outline of any suggested legislation, to the
79     Legislature before the 2017 General Session.