Section 6-5-550

Cause of action for malicious prosecution of civil action against health care provider.

There is hereby created a cause of action for damages for malicious prosecution on the grounds that the party instituting a civil action for injury or damages whether in contract or in tort against a health care provider based on a breach of the standard of care knew or should have known that the same was without adequate legal basis, or false, or unfounded, or without probable cause in the filing of such action, or that the same was filed as a part of a conspiracy to misuse judicial process by filing such a civil action known to be without legal basis, false, or unfounded. In any action for malicious prosecution under this section, the injured party may recover actual damages including litigation costs paid by or on behalf of the injured party or in the alternative liquidated damages of $500 plus a reasonable attorney's fee and all other costs of litigation. In an action for malicious prosecution under this section, actual malice need not be an element of the claim nor do special damages need to be proved. The elimination of these requirements in permitting the recovery of actual damages or liquidated damages, a reasonable attorney's fee and other costs of litigation is intended to be in derogation of the common law. The cause of action established by this section is not a compulsory counterclaim in the original civil action upon which it is based for the purposes of Rule 13, Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.

(Acts 1987, No. 87-189, p. 261, §11.)