25-9-412. Periodic payment of future damages in medical malpractice cases. (1) A party to an action for a malpractice claim, as defined in 25-9-411, in which $50,000 or more of future damages is awarded may, prior to the entry of judgment, request the court to enter a judgment ordering future damages to be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment. Upon a request, the court shall enter an order for periodic payment of future damages. The total dollar amount of the ordered periodic payments must equal the total dollar amount of the future damages without a reduction to present value.
(2) A court ordering the payment of future damages by periodic payments shall make specific findings as to the dollar amount of periodic payments needed to compensate the judgment creditor for future damages.
(3) The judgment order must specify the recipient or recipients of periodic payments, the dollar amount of the payments, the interval between payments, and the number of payments or the period of time over which payments must be made.
(4) The court shall order that periodic payment of future damages be made, during the life of the judgment creditor or during the continuance of the compensable injury or disability of the judgment creditor, through the purchase of an inflation-indexed annuity approved by the court. The annuity must be in the form of an inflation-indexed annuity contract purchased from a qualified insurer that, in the most recent edition of A.M. Best, has an "A" (excellent) or higher rating and is in a class 7 or higher classification. The annuity also serves as any required supersedeas bond. Upon purchase of a court-approved annuity, the court shall order that the judgment is satisfied and that the judgment debtor is discharged. If the judgment creditor dies before all periodic payments have been made, the remaining payments become the property of the creditor's estate.
History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 461, L. 1995.