Claims for noneconomic damages — Limitation.
(1) As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings indicated unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Economic damages" means objectively verifiable monetary losses, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, burial costs, loss of use of property, cost of replacement or repair, cost of obtaining substitute domestic services, loss of employment, and loss of business or employment opportunities.
(b) "Noneconomic damages" means subjective, nonmonetary losses, including, but not limited to pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, disability or disfigurement incurred by the injured party, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation and humiliation, and destruction of the parent-child relationship.
(c) "Bodily injury" means physical injury, sickness, or disease, including death.
(d) "Average annual wage" means the average annual wage in the state of Washington as determined under RCW 50.04.355.
(2) In no action seeking damages for personal injury or death may a claimant recover a judgment for noneconomic damages exceeding an amount determined by multiplying 0.43 by the average annual wage and by the life expectancy of the person incurring noneconomic damages, as the life expectancy is determined by the life expectancy tables adopted by the insurance commissioner. For purposes of determining the maximum amount allowable for noneconomic damages, a claimant's life expectancy shall not be less than fifteen years. The limitation contained in this subsection applies to all claims for noneconomic damages made by a claimant who incurred bodily injury. Claims for loss of consortium, loss of society and companionship, destruction of the parent-child relationship, and all other derivative claims asserted by persons who did not sustain bodily injury are to be included within the limitation on claims for noneconomic damages arising from the same bodily injury.
(3) If a case is tried to a jury, the jury shall not be informed of the limitation contained in subsection (2) of this section.
[1986 c 305 § 301.]
| Reviser's note: As to the constitutionality of this section, see Sofie v. Fibreboard Corp., 112 Wn.2d 636 (1989).|
Preamble -- Report to legislature -- Applicability -- Severability -- 1986 c 305: See notes following RCW 4.16.160.