COURTS, JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CIVIL CASES
ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS THEREIN
PLEADING AND PRACTICE
Limitation of damages for pain and suffering
Section 60H. In any action for malpractice, negligence, error, omission, mistake or the unauthorized rendering of professional services, other than actions brought under section two of chapter two hundred and twenty-nine, against a provider of health care, the court shall instruct the jury that in the event they find the defendant liable, they shall not award the plaintiff more than five hundred thousand dollars for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment and other items of general damages unless the jury determines that there is a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement, or other special circumstances in the case which warrant a finding that imposition of such a limitation would deprive the plaintiff of just compensation for the injuries sustained. In any such action which is tried without a jury, the court shall not award the plaintiff more than five hundred thousand dollars for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment and other items of general damages unless the aforesaid findings are made specially by the court and stated separately in the judgment entered by the court. Except in those cases where the aforesaid findings are made, if two or more plaintiffs have received verdicts or findings of such damages in a total amount, for all plaintiffs claiming damages from a single occurrence, transaction, act of malpractice, or injury which exceeds five hundred thousand dollars, the amount of such damages recoverable by each plaintiff will be reduced to a percentage of five hundred thousand dollars proportionate to that plaintiff's share of the total amount of such damages for all plaintiffs. Such limit shall apply, except in those cases where the aforesaid findings are made, regardless of the number of persons liable jointly or severally for the said damages.