Oklahoma Liability Reform Legislation-Emergency Care Provision (enacted 2003)

Section 1-1708.1F of Title 63
  A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, in any medical liability action in which the health care services at issue were provided for:
1. Pregnancy or labor and delivery, including the immediate post-partum period; or
2. Emergency care in the emergency room of a hospital or as follow-up to the emergency care services provided in the emergency room; the amount of noneconomic damages awarded shall not exceed Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000.00), regardless of the number of parties against whom the action is brought or the number of actions brought with respect to the personal injury.
B. Where the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed negligence in one of the types of cases enumerated in subsection A of this section, the court shall articulate its findings into the record out of the presence of the jury and shall lift the noneconomic damage cap.

  • A $300,000 cap was subsequently extended to all providers, however in those cases the cap applies only if the defendant has made an offer of judgment (i.e. offer to settle) and the amount of the verdict awarded to the plaintiff is less than 1 ½ times the amount of the final offer of judgment. The cap will not apply if nine or more members of the jury find by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed negligence or if nine or more members find by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s conduct was willful or wanton. These questions, however, will only be proposed to the jury if the judge makes a threshold finding that there is evidence to support such findings. The cap also does not apply to wrongful death cases because such limit is prohibited by Oklahoma’s constitution.
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