Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill designed to help protect trucking companies from nuclear verdicts.
Governor Reynolds signed Senate File 228 into law on Friday, May 12.
The new law is meant to protect trucking companies involved in crashes by capping the amount that victims can be awarded in court in non-economic damages (for pain and suffering or emotional distress) to $5 million, with adjustments for inflation beginning in 2028.
However, the bill includes several exemptions for cases in which the truck driver involved in the crash was under the influence, driving distracted, committing a felony, driving recklessly, or traveling 15 m.p.h. over the speed limit. In these cases, the $5 million cap would not apply.
The bill would not prevent crash victims from collecting punitive damages.
Additionally, the bill includes a provision to limit liability for trucking companies if a negligent hiring claim is filed following a crash.
A previous version of the bill set the limit at $2 million but was increased to $5 million in order to get the legislation through the State House.