2016 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 13 - Recovery in Medical Malpractice Actions
§ 51-13-1. Definitions; maximum liability; allowance for periodic payments

GA Code § 51-13-1 (2016) What's This?

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Claimant" means a person, including a decedent's estate, who seeks or has sought recovery of damages in a medical malpractice action. All persons claiming to have sustained damages as the result of the bodily injury or death of a single person are considered a single claimant.

(2) "Health care provider" means any person licensed under Chapter 9, 10A, 11, 11A, 26, 28, 30, 33, 34, 35, 39, or 44 of Title 43. The term shall also include any corporation, professional corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, authority, or other entity comprised of such health care providers.

(3) "Medical facility" means any institution or medical facility licensed under Chapter 7 of Title 31 or any combination thereof under common ownership, operation, or control.

(4) "Noneconomic damages" means damages for physical and emotional pain, discomfort, anxiety, hardship, distress, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind or nature. This term does not include past or future:

(A) Medical expenses, including rehabilitation and therapy;

(B) Wages or earnings capacity;

(C) Income;

(D) Funeral and burial expenses;

(E) The value of services performed by the injured in the absence of the injury or death including those domestic and other necessary services performed without compensation; or

(F) Other monetary expenses.

(b) In any verdict returned or judgment entered in a medical malpractice action, including an action for wrongful death, against one or more health care providers, the total amount recoverable by a claimant for noneconomic damages in such action shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $350,000.00, regardless of the number of defendant health care providers against whom the claim is asserted or the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based.

(c) In any verdict returned or judgment entered in a medical malpractice action, including an action for wrongful death, against a single medical facility, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, the total amount recoverable by a claimant for noneconomic damages in such action shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $350,000.00, regardless of the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based.

(d) In any verdict returned or judgment entered in a medical malpractice action, including an action for wrongful death, against more than one medical facility, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, the total amount recoverable by a claimant for noneconomic damages in such action shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $350,000.00 from any single medical facility and $700,000.00 from all medical facilities, regardless of the number of defendant medical facilities against whom the claim is asserted or the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based.

(e) In applying subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this Code section, the aggregate amount of noneconomic damages recoverable under such subsections shall in no event exceed $1,050,000.00.

(f) In any medical malpractice action, if an award of future damages equaling or exceeding $350,000.00 is made against any party in the action, the trial court shall, upon the request of any party, issue an order providing that such damages be paid by periodic payments. Such periodic payments shall be funded through an annuity policy with the premium for such annuity equal to the amount of the award for future damages.

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