Measure 35

Text of Measure

Section ____. (1) For purposes of this amendment, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) "Base Year CPI" shall mean the monthly Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Not Seasonally Adjusted in the West Urban area, published by the United States Department of Labor for December of the year preceding the effective date of this amendment.

(b) "Annual CPI" shall mean the monthly Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Not Seasonally Adjusted in the West Urban area, published by the United States Department of Labor for December of the year preceding the date of the annual determination specified in subsection (5).

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, in cases not involving claims for wrongful death, an injured patient, the patient's legal representative, including a person claiming loss of consortium, shall be entitled to make a claim for recovery of all economic damages suffered, plus an amount not to exceed $500,000 for all noneconomic damages arising from injury to any one patient that may be recoverable from Oregon licensed healthcare providers or entities. This limitation of noneconomic damages shall apply only to claims for unintended injury occurring when the healthcare providers or entities are acting within the scope of their licenses.

(3) Nothing in this section affects the right of any person to recover economic damages.

(4) The limit of noneconomic damages under subsection (2) shall be redetermined annually for each year after the effective date of this amendment in accordance with the following formula:

Limit of noneconomic damages = $500,000 + [$500,000.00 x ((Annual CPI - Base Year CPI) ÷ Base Year CPI)]

(5) The first business day following February 1st of each year after the effective date of this amendment, the State Court Administrator shall, using the Index identified in subsection (1) and the equation set forth in subsection (4), determine the limit of noneconomic damages; and shall on the same date notify the clerks of each of the Circuit Courts what the limit of non-economic damages shall be from that date until the date of the next annual determination.

(6) The term "economic damages" as used in this section shall mean all objectively verifiable monetary losses including but not limited to reasonable charges necessarily incurred for medical, hospital, nursing and rehabilitative services and other health care services, burial and memorial expenses, loss of income and past and future impairment of earning capacity, reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for substitute domestic services, recurring loss to an estate and damage to reputation that is economically verifiable.

(7) The term "noneconomic damages" as used in this section shall mean all subjective nonmonetary losses suffered by an injured patient, including but not limited to pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of care, comfort, companionship and society, loss of consortium, inconvenience and interference with normal and usual activities apart from gainful employment.

(8) This amendment is self-executing upon passage, shall not require implementing legislation, and shall apply to all actions covered by subsection (2) that are filed on or after January 1, 2005.