Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.001. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) “Claimant” means a party, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or third-party plaintiff, seeking recovery of damages.  In a cause of action in which a party seeks recovery of damages related to injury to another person, damage to the property of another person, death of another person, or other harm to another person, “claimant” includes both that other person and the party seeking recovery of damages.

(2) “Clear and convincing” means the measure or degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established.

(3) “Defendant” means a party, including a counterdefendant, cross-defendant, or third-party defendant, from whom a claimant seeks relief.

(4) “Economic damages” means compensatory damages intended to compensate a claimant for actual economic or pecuniary loss;  the term does not include exemplary damages or noneconomic damages.

(5) “Exemplary damages” means any damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes.  Exemplary damages are neither economic nor noneconomic damages. “Exemplary damages” includes punitive damages.

(6) “Fraud” means fraud other than constructive fraud.

(7) “Malice” means a specific intent by the defendant to cause substantial injury or harm to the claimant.

(7-a) “Net worth” means the total assets of a person minus the total liabilities of the person on a date determined appropriate by the trial court.

(8) “Compensatory damages” means economic and noneconomic damages.  The term does not include exemplary damages.

(9) “Future damages” means damages that are incurred after the date of the judgment.  Future damages do not include exemplary damages.

(10) “Future loss of earnings” means a pecuniary loss incurred after the date of the judgment, including:

(A) loss of income, wages, or earning capacity;  and

(B) loss of inheritance.

(11) “Gross negligence” means an act or omission:

(A) which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others;  and

(B) of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.

(12) “Noneconomic damages” means damages awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.

(13) “Periodic payments” means the payment of money or its equivalent to the recipient of future damages at defined intervals.


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