(B) In an action on a medical malpractice claim when final judgment is rendered against a single health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages is limited to an amount not to exceed three hundred fifty thousand dollars for each claimant, regardless of the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based, except as provided in subsection (E).
Terms Used In South Carolina Code 15-32-220
- Claimant: means the person suffering personal injury. See South Carolina Code 15-32-210
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Economic damages: means pecuniary damages arising from medical expenses and medical care, rehabilitation services, costs associated with education, custodial care, loss of earnings and earning capacity, loss of income, burial costs, loss of use of property, costs of repair or replacement of property, costs of obtaining substitute domestic services, a claim for loss of spousal services, loss of employment, loss of business or employment opportunities, loss of retirement income, and other monetary losses. See South Carolina Code 15-32-210
- Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
- Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
- Health care institution: means an ambulatory surgical facility, a hospital, an institutional general infirmary, a nursing home, and a renal dialysis facility. See South Carolina Code 15-32-210
- Health care provider: means a physician, surgeon, osteopath, nurse, oral surgeon, dentist, pharmacist, chiropractor, optometrist, podiatrist, or similar category of licensed health care provider, including a health care practice, association, partnership, or other legal entity. See South Carolina Code 15-32-210
- Medical malpractice: means doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would not do or not doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would do in the same or similar circumstances. See South Carolina Code 15-32-210
- Noneconomic damages: means nonpecuniary damages arising from pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation, humiliation, other nonpecuniary damages, and any other theory of damages including, but not limited to, fear of loss, illness, or injury. See South Carolina Code 15-32-210
- Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
(C) In an action on a medical malpractice claim when final judgment is rendered against more than one health care institution, or more than one health care provider, or any combination thereof, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution and each health care provider is limited to an amount not to exceed three hundred fifty thousand dollars for each claimant, and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions and health care providers is limited to an amount not to exceed one million fifty thousand dollars for each claimant, except as provided in subsection (E).
(D)(1) The provisions of this section do not limit the amount of compensation for economic damages suffered by each claimant in a medical malpractice claim.
(2) The provisions of this section do not limit the amount of punitive damages in cases where the plaintiff is able to prove an entitlement to an award of punitive damages as required by law.
(E) The limitations for noneconomic damages rendered against any health care provider or health care institution do not apply if the jury or court determines that the defendant was grossly negligent, wilful, wanton, or reckless, and such conduct was the proximate cause of the claimant’s noneconomic damages, or if the defendant has engaged in fraud or misrepresentation related to the claim, or if the defendant altered or destroyed medical records with the purpose of avoiding a claim or liability to the claimant.
(F) At the end of each calendar year, the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, Board of Economic Advisors must determine the increase or decrease in the ratio of the Consumer Price Index to the index as of December 31 of the previous year, and the limitation on compensation for noneconomic damages pursuant to subsection (A), (B), or (C) must be increased or decreased accordingly. As soon as practicable after this adjustment is calculated, the Director of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office shall submit the revised limitation on compensation to the State Register for publication pursuant to Section 1-23-40(2), and the revised limitation becomes effective upon publication in the State Register. For purposes of this subsection, "Consumer Price Index" means the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.