(a) In any civil action involving a political subdivision or any of its employees as a party defendant, an award of punitive or exemplary damages against such political subdivision is prohibited.
(b) There shall not be any limitation on compensatory damages that represent the economic loss of the person who is awarded the damages. However, damages awarded that arise from the same cause of action, transaction or occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences that represent noneconomic loss shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars in favor of any one person. The limitation on damages that do not represent the economic loss of the person who is awarded the damages provided in this subsection does not apply to court costs that are awarded to a plaintiff or to interest on a judgment rendered in favor of a plaintiff in an action against a political subdivision or its employees.
(c) In the trial of an action covered by the provisions of this article involving multiple defendants, the jury shall be required to report its findings to the court on a form provided by the court which contains each of the possible verdicts as determined by the court.
(d) In every such action, the court shall make findings as to the total dollar amount awarded as damages to each plaintiff. The court shall enter judgment of joint and several liability against every defendant who bears twenty-five percent or more of the negligence attributable to all defendants. The court shall enter judgment of several, but not joint, liability against and among all defendants who bear less than twenty-five percent of the negligence attributable to all defendants.
(e) Each defendant against whom a judgment of joint and several liability is entered in an action pursuant to subsection (d) of this section is liable to each plaintiff for all or any part of the total dollar amount awarded regardless of the percentage of negligence attributable to him. A right of contribution exists in favor of each defendant who has paid to a plaintiff more than the percentage of the dollar amount awarded attributable to him relative to the percentage of negligence attributable to him. The total amount of recovery for contribution is limited to a the amount paid by the defendant to a plaintiff in excess of the percentage of the total dollar amount awarded attributable to him relative to the percentage of negligence attributable to him. No right of contribution exists against any defendant who entered into a good faith settlement with the plaintiff prior to the jury's report of its findings to the court or the court's findings as to total dollar amount awarded as damages.
(f) Where a right of contribution exists in an action pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, the findings of the court or jury as to the percentage of negligence and liability of the several defendants to the plaintiff shall be binding among such defendants as determining their rights of contribution.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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