Tort Reform Effective Date/Operative Caps

What is the effective date of the recent tort deform legislation, and what are the operative caps?

Answer: The effective date of the entire act (unless otherwise provided in the specific section) is November 1, 2009. Some sections by their terms apply only to claims arising after that date. However, most sections do not provide that so we will have to have the courts decide on a section by section basis to what cases they apply.

The cap is a $400,000 cap on non-economic loss. However, by its terms, that cap provision does not become effective until after the legislature approves and funds a liability insurance provision for doctors to provide them $20 million in excess coverage over a $1 million limit they will be required to carry as a condition of their licensing. That may never happen.