In any action for injury or damages or wrongful death, whether in contract or in tort, against a health care provider based on a breach of the standard of care, the minimum standard of proof required to test the sufficiency of the evidence to support any issue of fact shall be proof by substantial evidence. In all such actions, whether arising in tort or in contract, the scintilla rule of evidence is abolished. In all pleadings or motions filed in such actions testing the sufficiency of the evidence to support an issue of fact, including, but not limited to, motions for summary judgment, motions for directed verdict, motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and any other such motions or pleadings respecting the sufficiency of the evidence, the standard of proof required shall be proof by substantial evidence. In the case of a jury trial, the jury shall be instructed that in order to return a verdict against a health care provider, the jury shall be reasonably satisfied by substantial evidence that the health care provider failed to comply with the standard of care and that such failure probably caused the injury or death in question.
(Acts 1987, No. 87-189, p. 261, §10; Acts 1996, No. 96-511, p. 650, §3.)
Terms Used In Alabama Code 6-5-549
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
- Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
- Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.