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H.20

Introduced by Representatives Otterman of Topsham, Baker of West Rutland, Branagan of Georgia, Endres of Milton, Helm of Castleton, Hudson of Lyndon, Kennedy of Chelsea, Larocque of Barnet, Myers of Essex, Shaw of Derby, Smith of New Haven and Winters of Williamstown

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Court procedure; statutes of repose in civil actions; limitations on damages in actions against licensed professionals 

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish a statute of repose which extinguishes all civil causes of action after a period of time equal to one and one-half times the action’s statute of limitations.  The bill also proposes to eliminate punitive damages in actions against members of professions or occupations licensed by the state of Vermont and to limit noneconomic damages in such actions to $100,000.00.

AN ACT RELATING TO CREATING STATUTES OF REPOSE FOR ALL CIVIL ACTIONS AND LIMITING DAMAGE AWARDS IN ACTIONS AGAINST LICENSED PROFESSIONALS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  12 V.S.A. § 525 is added to read:

§ 525.  CIVIL ACTIONS; STATUTES OF REPOSE

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and irrespective of the date of discovery, all causes of action shall be extinguished upon the expiration of a period of time equal to one and one-half times the limitation period applicable to the action under this chapter.  No action that is barred by a limitation period established by any other provision of law shall be rendered timely by the operation of this section. 

Sec. 2.  12 V.S.A. § 1910 is added to read:

§ 1910.  ACTIONS AGAINST LICENSED PROFESSIONALS;

              LIMITATIONS ON DAMAGES

In an action against a person who is a member of a profession or occupation licensed by the state of Vermont, arising out of services performed by the person as a member of the profession or occupation for which the person is licensed:

(1)  Damages awarded for pain and suffering, mental anguish, or other noneconomic loss shall not exceed the amount of $100,000.00.

(2)  Punitive damages shall not be awarded.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us