INJURY AND WRONGFUL DEATH LEGAL ACTIONS
The Sections of Article 50-b. of the CPLR of New York:
- NY CPLR § 5041. Basis for determining judgment to be entered
- NY CPLR § 5042. Form of security
- NY CPLR § 5043. Posting and maintaining security
- NY CPLR § 5044. Failure to make payment
- NY CPLR § 5045. Effect of death of judgment creditor
- NY CPLR § 5046. Adjustment of payments
- NY CPLR § 5047. Settlements
- NY CPLR § 5048. Assignment of periodic installments
- NY CPLR § 5049. Duties of superintendent of financial services
NY CPLR § 5041. BASIS FOR DETERMINING JUDGMENT TO BE ENTERED
In order to determine what judgment is to be entered on a verdict in an action to recover damages for personal injury, injury to property or wrongful death under this article, and not subject to article fifty-A of this chapter, the court shall proceed as follows:
(a) The court shall apply to the findings of past and future damages any applicable rules of law, including set-offs, credits, comparative negligence pursuant to section fourteen hundred eleven of this chapter, additives, and remittiturs, in calculating the respective amounts of past and future damages claimants are entitled to recover and defendants are obligated to pay.
(b) The court shall enter judgment in lump sum for past damages, for future damages not in excess of two hundred fifty thousand dollars, and for any damages, fees or costs payable in lump sum or otherwise under subdivisions (c) and (d) of this section. For the purposes of this section, any lump sum payment of a portion of future damages shall be deemed to include the elements of future damages in the same proportion as such elements comprise of the total award for future damages as determined by the trier of fact.
(c) Payment of litigation expenses and that portion of the attorney’s fees related to past damages shall be payable in a lump sum. Payment of that portion of the attorney’s fees related to future damages for which, pursuant to this article, the claimant is entitled to a lump sum payment shall also be payable in a lump sum. Payment of that portion of the attorney’s fees related to the future periodically paid damages shall also be payable in a lump sum, based on the present value of the annuity contract purchased to provide payment of such future periodically paid damages pursuant to subdivision (e) of this section.
(d) Upon election of a subrogee or a lien holder, including an employer or insurer who provides workers’ compensation, filed within the time permitted by rule of court, any part of future damages allocate-able to reimbursement of payments previously made by the subrogee or the lien holder shall be paid in lump sum to the subrogee or the lien holder in such amount as is calculable and determinable under the law in effect at the time of such payment.
(e) With respect to awards of future damages in excess of two hundred fifty thousand dollars in an action to recover damages for personal injury, injury to property or wrongful death, the court shall enter judgment as follows:
After making any adjustment prescribed by subdivisions (b), (c) and (d) of this section, the court shall enter a judgment for the amount of the present value of an annuity contract that will provide for the payment of the remaining amounts of future damages in periodic installments. The present value of such contract shall be determined in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practices by applying the discount rate in effect at the time of the award to the full amount of the remaining future damages, as calculated pursuant to this subdivision. The period of time over which such periodic payments shall be made and the period of time used to calculate the present value of the annuity contract shall be the period of years determined by the trier of fact in arriving at the itemized verdict; provided, however, that the period of time over which such periodic payments shall be made and the period of time used to calculate the present value for damages attributable to pain and suffering shall be ten years or the period of time determined by the trier of fact, whichever is less. The court, as part of its judgment, shall direct that the defendants and their insurance carriers shall be required to offer and to guarantee the purchase and payment of such an annuity contract. Such annuity contract shall provide for the payment of the annual payments of such remaining future damages over the period of time determined pursuant to this subdivision. The annual payment for the first year shall be calculated by dividing the remaining amount of future damages by the number of years over which such payments shall be made and the payment due in each succeeding year shall be computed by adding four percent to the previous year’s payment. Where payment of a portion of the future damages terminates in accordance with the provisions of this article, the four percent added payment shall be based only upon that portion of the damages that remains subject to continued payment. Unless otherwise agreed, the annual sum so arrived at shall be paid in equal monthly installments and in advance.
(f) With the consent of the claimant and any party liable, in whole or in part, for the judgment, the court shall enter judgment for the amount found for future damages attributable to said party as such are determinable without regard to the provisions of this article.
NY CPLR § 5042. FORM OF SECURITY
Security authorized or required for payment of a judgment for periodic installments entered in accordance with this article must be in the form of an annuity contract, executed by a qualified insurer and approved by the superintendent of financial services pursuant to section five thousand forty-nine of this article, and approved by the court.
NY CPLR § 5043. POSTING AND MAINTAINING SECURITY
(a) If the court enters a judgment for periodic installments, each party liable for all or a portion of such judgment shall separately or jointly with one or more others post security in an amount necessary to secure payment for the amount of the judgment for future periodic installments within thirty days after the date the judgment is entered. A liability insurer having a contractual obligation and any other person adjudged to have an obligation to pay all or part of a judgment for periodic installments on behalf of a judgment debtor is obligated to post security to the extent of its contractual or adjudged obligation if the judgment debtor has not done so.
(b) A judgment creditor or successor in interest and any party having rights may move that the court find that security has not been posted and maintained with regard to a judgment obligation owing to the moving party. Upon so finding, the court shall order that security complying with this article be posted within thirty days. If security is not posted within that time and subdivision (c) of this section does not apply, the court shall enter a judgment for the lump sum as such sum is determinable under the law without regard to this article.
(c) If a judgment debtor who is the only person liable for a portion of a judgment for periodic installments fails to post and maintain security, the right to lump sum payment described in subdivision (b) of this section applies only against that judgment debtor and the portion of judgment so owed.
(d) If more than one party is liable for all or a portion of a judgment requiring security under this article and the required security is posted by one or more but fewer than all of the parties liable, the security requirements are satisfied and those posting security may proceed under subdivision (b) of this section to enforce rights for security or lump sum payment to satisfy or protect rights of reimbursement from a party not posting security.
NY CPLR § 5044. FAILURE TO MAKE PAYMENT
If at any time following entry of judgment, a judgment debtor fails for any reason to make a payment in a timely fashion according to the terms of this article, the judgment creditor may petition the court which rendered the original judgment for an order requiring payment by the judgment debtor of the outstanding payments in a lump sum. In calculating the amount of the lump sum judgment, the court shall total the remaining periodic payments due and owing to the judgment creditor, as calculated pursuant to subdivision (e) of section five thousand forty-one of this article, and shall not convert these amounts to their present value. The court may also require the payment of interest on the outstanding judgment.
NY CPLR § 5045. EFFECT OF DEATH OF JUDGMENT CREDITOR
(a) Unless otherwise agreed between the parties at the time security is posted pursuant to section five thousand forty-three of this article, in all cases covered by this article in which future damages are payable in periodic installments, the liability for payment of any installments for medical, dental or other costs of health care or non-economic loss not yet due at the death of the judgment creditor terminates upon the death of the judgment creditor.
(b) The portion of any periodic payment allocable to loss of future earnings shall not be reduced or terminated by reason of the death of the judgment creditor, but shall be paid to persons to whom the judgment creditor owed a duty of support immediately prior to his death to the extent that such duty of support exists under applicable law at the time of the death of the judgment creditor. Such payments to such persons shall continue for the remainder of the period as originally found by the jury or until such duty of support ceases to exist, whichever occurs first. In such cases, the court which rendered the original judgment may, upon petition of any party in interest, modify the judgment to award and apportion the future payments of such unpaid future damages in accordance with this subdivision which apportioned amounts shall be payable in the future as provided for in this article. In the event that the judgment creditor does not owe a duty of support to any person at the time of the death of the judgment creditor or such duty ceases to exist, the remaining payments shall be considered part of the estate of the judgment creditor. In such cases, the court which rendered the original judgment may, upon petition of any party in interest, convert those portions of such periodic payments allocate-able to the loss of future earnings to a lump sum by calculating the present value of such payments in order to assist in the settlement of the estate of the judgment creditor.
NY CPLR § 5046. ADJUSTMENTS OF PAYMENTS
(a) If, at any time after entry of judgment, a judgment creditor or successor in interest can establish that the continued payment of the judgment in periodic installments will impose a hardship, the court may, in its discretion, order that the remaining payments or a portion thereof shall be made to the judgment creditor in a lump sum. The court shall, before entering such an order, find that: (i) unanticipated and substantial medical, dental or other health needs have arisen that warrant the payment of the remaining payments, or a portion thereof, in a lump sum; (ii) ordering such a lump sum payment would not impose an unreasonable financial burden on the judgment debtor or debtors; (iii) ordering such a lump sum payment will accommodate the future medical, dental and other health needs of the judgment creditor; and (iv) ordering such a lump sum payment would further the interests of justice.
(b) If a lump sum payment is ordered by the court, such lump sum shall be calculated on the basis of the present value of remaining periodic payments, or portions thereof, that are converted into a lump sum payment. Unless specifically waived by all parties, the annuity contract executed pursuant to section five thousand forty-two of this article shall contain a provision authorizing such a lump sum payment if such payment is approved pursuant to this section. The remaining future periodic payments, if any, shall be reduced accordingly. For the purposes of this section, present value shall be calculated based on the interest rate and mortality assumptions at the time such a lump sum payment is made as determined by the insurer who has provided the annuity contract, in accordance with regulations issued by the superintendent of financial services.
NY CPLR § 5047. SETTLEMENTS
Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the right of a plaintiff, defendant or defendants and any insurer to settle property damage, personal injury or wrongful death claims as they consider appropriate and in their complete discretion.
NY CPLR § 5048. ASSIGNMENT OF PERIODIC INSTALLMENTS
An assignment of or an agreement to assign any right to periodic installments for future damages contained in a judgment entered under this article is enforceable only as to amounts: (a) to secure payment of alimony, maintenance, or child support; (b) for the cost of products, services, or accommodations provided or to be provided by the assignee for medical, dental or other health care; or (c) for attorney’s fees and other expenses of litigation incurred in securing the judgment.
NY CPLR § 5049. DUTIES OF SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
The superintendent of financial services shall establish rules and procedures for determining which insurers, self-insurers, plans or arrangements are financially qualified to provide the security required under this article and to be designated as qualified insurers.
Updated: September 8, 2019.