Pennsylvania Statutes Title 40 P.S. Insurance § 1303.505. Punitive damages

(a) Award.--Punitive damages may be awarded for conduct that is the result of the health care provider's willful or wanton conduct or reckless indifference to the rights of others.  In assessing punitive damages, the trier of fact can properly consider the character of the health care provider's act, the nature and extent of the harm to the patient that the health care provider caused or intended to cause and the wealth of the health care provider.

(b) Gross negligence.--A showing of gross negligence is insufficient to support an award of punitive damages.

(c) Vicarious liability.--Punitive damages shall not be awarded against a health care provider who is only vicariously liable for the actions of its agent that caused the injury unless it can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the party knew of and allowed the conduct by its agent that resulted in the award of punitive damages.

(d) Total amount of damages.--Except in cases alleging intentional misconduct, punitive damages against an individual physician shall not exceed 200% of the compensatory damages awarded.  Punitive damages, when awarded, shall not be less than $100,000 unless a lower verdict amount is returned by the trier of fact.

(e) Allocation.--Upon the entry of a verdict including an award of punitive damages, the punitive damages portion of the award shall be allocated as follows:

(1) 75% shall be paid to the prevailing party;  and

(2) 25% shall be paid to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.


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