HB1280 Provides for the distribution of the tort victims' compensation fund.
Sponsor: Clayton, Robert (10) Effective Date:00/00/0000
CoSponsor: May, Brian H. (108) LR Number: 3060L.01I
Last Action: COMMITTEE: JUDICIARY
02/17/2000 - Reported Do Pass (H)
HB1280
Next Hearing:Hearing not scheduled
Calendar:HOUSE BILLS FOR PERFECTION
Position on Calendar:005
ACTIONS HEARINGS CALENDAR
BILL SUMMARIES BILL TEXT
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Available Bill Summaries for HB1280 Copyright(c)
* Committee * Introduced

Available Bill Text for HB1280
* Introduced *

BILL SUMMARIES

COMMITTEE

HB 1280 -- TORT VICTIMS' COMPENSATION FUND

CO-SPONSORS:  Clayton, May (108), Richardson, Gaw

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Judiciary
by a vote of 15 to 1.

This bill creates the Legal Services for Low-Income People Fund,
which receives 35% of all payments to the Tort Victims'
Compensation Fund.  The treasurer is authorized to distribute
money from the Legal Services for Low-Income People Fund to
legal services organizations in Missouri that receive federal
Legal Services Corporation funding.  Funds must be allocated
according to the most recent official census data relating to
the location of Missouri residents living at or below the
poverty level.

In addition, the bill authorizes the Division of Workers'
Compensation to make awards to uncompensated victims from 65% of
payments to the fund.  Prevailing plaintiffs in civil tort cases
who are unable to collect or enforce judgments are considered
uncompensated tort victims under the bill's provisions.  Awards
may not be greater than the amount determined by the jury for
any plaintiff found to be contributorily or comparatively
negligent.  No award from the fund may exceed $300,000.  The
bill specifies procedures for filing claims and appealing
determinations.  If there are insufficient funds for the
division to pay all claims, the claims must be paid on a pro
rata basis.

The bill also modifies procedures for the Attorney General to
collect 50% of all punitive damage awards.  Cases resolved by
arbitration, mediation, or compromise settlement as well as
attorney fees and expenses are not subject to the collection
procedures.

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Net Cost to State Funds of $253,822 in
FY 2001, $261,990 in FY 2002, and $273,204 in FY 2003.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that legislation is necessary to
distribute money from the fund.  Currently, there is over $7
million in the fund and no statutory provisions to govern
distributing it.  Spending part of the fund to support legal
services for impoverished individuals is a worthwhile use of the
money, particularly because funding for legal services has been
substantially diminished in recent years.  In addition, the bill
will allow the Division of Workers' Compensation to allocate
awards to tort victims.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Clayton; Missouri
Bar; Silver Haired Legislature; Eastern Missouri Legal Services;
Western Missouri Legal Services; Missouri Association of Trial
Attorneys; Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers; and
Associated Industries of Missouri.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Katharine Barondeau, Legislative Analyst


INTRODUCED

HB 1280 -- Tort Victims' Compensation Fund

Co-Sponsors:  Clayton, May (108), Richardson, Gaw

This bill creates the Legal Services for Low-Income People Fund
which receives 35% of all payments to the Tort Victims'
Compensation Fund.  The treasurer is authorized to distribute
money from the Legal Services for Low-Income People Fund to
legal services organizations in Missouri that receive federal
Legal Services Corporation funding.  Funds must be allocated
according to the most recent official census data relating to
the location of Missouri residents living at or below the
poverty level.

In addition, the bill authorizes the Division of Workers'
Compensation to make awards to uncompensated victims from 65% of
payments to the fund.  Prevailing plaintiffs in civil tort cases
who are unable to collect or enforce judgments are considered
uncompensated tort victims under the bill's provisions.  Awards
may not be greater than the amount determined by the jury for
any plaintiff found to be contributorily or comparatively
negligent.  No award from the fund may exceed $300,000.  The
bill specifies procedures for filing claims and appealing
determinations.  If there are insufficient funds for the
division to pay all claims, the claims must be paid on a pro
rata basis.

The bill also modifies procedures for the Attorney General to
collect 50% of all punitive damage awards.  Cases resolved by
arbitration, mediation, or compromise settlement as well as
attorneys' fees and expenses are not subject to the collection
procedures.


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