Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
February 6, 1999
Janis Baron (303-866-3523)
TITLE: CONCERNING DAMAGES IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES.
Summary of Assessment
The bill grants the surviving siblings of a person killed by the wrongful act of another a cause of action in wrongful death if the deceased is an unmarried minor or an unmarried adult without descendants or surviving parents; such siblings shall have an equal interest in the judgment. Additionally, the bill authorizes the award of exemplary damages plus actual damages in wrongful death cases where the death is attended by circumstances of fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct. The amount of exemplary damages is not to exceed the amount of actual damages awarded. The court is permitted to reduce, disallow, or increase any award of exemplary damages in certain circumstances. The bill includes an effective date of July 1, 1999, and applies to causes of action accruing on or after that date.
The bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact. The bill makes modifications to damages in wrongful death cases, it does not mandate new requirements on the Judicial Branch. The bill will not impact the courts' workload.