Summary: H.R.3382 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3382. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (03/05/1998)

Small Business Lawsuit Abuse Protection Act of 1998 - Provides that, in any civil action against a small business (fewer than 50 full-time employees), punitive damages may be awarded against such business only if the claimant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that conduct carried out by the defendant through willful misconduct or with a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of others was the proximate cause of the harm that is the subject of the action. Prohibits, in any action against a small business, punitive damages from exceeding the lesser of: (1) twice the amount awarded for economic and noneconomic losses; or (2) $250,000.

Provides that, in such an action, the liability of each defendant small business shall be limited to the amount of noneconomic loss allocated to that defendant in direct proportion to its percentage of responsibility for the harm that is the subject of the action. Requires the court to render a separate judgment against each such defendant.

Provides as exceptions to the small business liability limitations under this Act any misconduct: (1) that constitutes a crime of violence, international terrorism, or a hate crime; (2) that involves a sexual offense or a violation of a Federal or State civil rights law; or (3) if the defendant was under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or a drug at the time of the misconduct and that fact causes any of the harm alleged.