(a) There shall be mandatory mediation for all civil actions brought to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider. Each such civil action for which a valid certificate has been filed pursuant to section 52-190a shall be referred to mandatory mediation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, unless the civil action is referred to another alternative dispute resolution program agreed to by the parties. Mandatory mediation under this section shall be conducted for the purpose of achieving a prompt settlement or resolution of the civil action. For the purposes of this section, “health care provider” means a provider, as defined in subsection (b) of section 20-7b , an institution, as defined in section 19a-490 , or any other health care provider described in subsection (a) of section 52-184b .
(b) Prior to the close of pleadings in such civil action, the presiding judge of the civil session of the court of the judicial district in which the action is pending shall refer the action to mandatory mediation or any other alternative dispute resolution program agreed to by the parties. The duration of the referral shall not exceed one hundred twenty days unless the court, for good cause shown, extends the duration of the referral. The court shall stay the time periods within which all further pleadings, motions, requests, discovery and other procedures must be filed or undertaken, including, but not limited to, filings under section 52-192a , except with respect to any apportionment complaint under section 52-102b .
(c) Mediation under this section shall begin as soon as practicable, but not later than twenty business days after the date the action is referred under subsection (b) of this section. The first mediation session shall be conducted by the presiding judge or, at the discretion of the presiding judge, a different judge of the Superior Court or a senior judge or judge trial referee. At the first mediation session, the judge, senior judge or judge trial referee conducting the mediation session shall determine whether the action can be resolved at such mediation session, or, if the action cannot be resolved at that mediation session, whether the parties agree to participate in further mediation. If the action is not resolved at the first mediation session and the parties do not agree to further mediation, mandatory mediation under this section shall end. If the action is not resolved at the first mediation session and the parties agree to further mediation, the presiding judge of such civil session shall refer the action for mediation before an attorney who has experience as an attorney related to such civil actions and who has been a member of the bar of the state of Connecticut for at least five years. Upon such referral, mediation shall begin as soon as practicable, but not later than twenty business days after the referral. Fifty per cent of the cost of such mediation shall be paid by the plaintiffs, and fifty per cent of the cost of such mediation shall be apportioned among all defendants who are parties to the mediation.
(d) Each party to such action, and a representative of each insurer that may be liable to pay a claim on behalf of a defendant pursuant to such action, shall appear in person at each mediation session, unless participation by telephone or electronic means is permitted by the judge, senior judge, judge trial referee or mediator.
(e) If such mediation does not settle or conclude the civil action, and if all parties in attendance at such mediation agree, the mediator and all such parties may file a stipulation with the court setting forth any matter or conclusion that the parties and the mediator believe may be useful or relevant to narrow the issues, expedite discovery or assist the parties in preparing the civil action for trial.
(f) The judges of the Superior Court may adopt such rules as they deem necessary for the conduct of mediation pursuant to this section. Such rules shall be adopted in accordance with section 51-14 .
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