Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity

ALABAMA

Limited - Sovereign immunity has not been waived but a Board of Adjustments determines claims against the state and all of its subdivisions.

Recovery of damages against government limited to $100,000 for injury or death to an individual and $300,000 aggregate per occurrence.

ALASKA
Claims against State may be pursued in state court. Follows Federal Tort Claims Act.
ARIZONA
180 days to file Notice of Claims. 1 year SOL. Sovereign immunity still applies but has been modified in certain situations by statute.
ARKANSAS
Sovereign immunity applies except that political subdivisions of state are required to maintain liability insurance or self-insurance for motor vehicles.
CALIFORNIA
SOL: 6 months. Runs from date of notice of claim is served on entity. Doctrine of sovereign immunity abrogated.
COLORADO
6 Month SOL to give notice to municipality after discovery of injury.
CONNECTICUT
2 Years (with a 90 day notice requirement) for defective roads and bridges and 2 yrs (with a 6 month notice requirement) for actions against municipality for negligence of most employees. However, under CGS7-308, there is a one year SOL for cases involving the negligence of municipal firemen (paid or volunteer), and volunteer ambulance workers (with a 6 month notice requirement).
DELAWARE
Waived but only for actions in state court and only when claim is covered by state insurance program.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Action against the District of Columbia requires notice in writing to mayor within 6 months of injury, or police report.
FLORIDA
Waived only when employee is acting within scope and not acting in bad faith. Allowed only up to limit of insurance coverage. Requires prior written notice within 3 years of incident, must have notice in writing after injury to municipality and department of insurance. Lawsuit can be started after claim is denied.
State, or subdivision thereof waives sovereign immunity up to $100,000 per person and $200,000 per incident or occurrence.
HAWAII
2 Years
IDAHO
2 Years from date or discovery. 180 days to file claim against municipalities. Infants have 120 days after majority or 6 years from injury or discovery.
ILLINOIS
1 Year ,including Wrongful Death. State has adopted an immunity statute governing when actions against the state or its political subdivisions are permitted. In certain municipal actions, notices of claim are required.
INDIANA
Immunity available to government entities in some limited situations. Notice required for claims against state and local governments.
IOWA
2 Years for claims against state, requires written notice to State Appeal Board within those 2 years.
KANSAS
Abolished. State liable for damages caused by negligent or wrongful act or omission of government employee acting within scope of employment. Certain immunities remain. Medical malpractice for municipalities same as for private defendant. Government damage capped at $500,000 unless insurance for greater amount. No punitive damages against municipalities.
KENTUCKY
year SOL. Partially waived. Notice must be given to Board of Claims within 1 year of injury. Damages permitted up to $200,000 per individual and $350,000 per claim.
LOUISIANA
No immunity for state, state agency from suit and liability in contract or injury to person or property. Although special statutes do exist to limit liability and create structured payment plans. Max awards of $500,000 except as to medical care and loss of earnings.
MAINE
2 Years Infant has 2 years from injury and minor has 2 years from reaching majority. Notice of claim to be filed within 180 days unless claimant is a minor in which case it is 180 days from reaching majority.
MARYLAND
Limited waiver of state's sovereign immunity in tort claims to extent of insurance coverage.
MASSACHUSETTS
3 Years years for most municipal acts. Waived, but limited by statute depending on situation. Public departments and agencies, other than certain authorities and other independent agencies. Remedy does not extend to punitive damages or any damages in excess of $100,000 per plaintiff or to prejudgment interest. Small claims against housing authorities must be brought within 3 years.
MICHIGAN
Only waived by express statutory consent. State may be sued in accidents involving motor vehicles, aircraft, defective highways, maintenance of public buildings, and in some medical malpractice situations.
MINNESOTA
Abolished, but numerous special rules apply.
MISSISSIPPI
Partially waived and limited to $500,000. No punitive damages permitted against municipalities.
MISSOURI
Doctrine exists, however, suits permitted for compensatory damages for injuries caused by negligent acts of public employees in operation of motor vehicles, and other specific negligent acts.
MONTANA
Abolished.
NEBRASKA
2 Years for actions against state. Claim must be filed within 2 years with State Claims Board; action must be filed within 6 months of final disposition by Board.
NEVADA
Waived unless otherwise provided by statute.
NEW HAMPSHIRE
years
NEW JERSEY
Public entity is generally subject to tort liability for acts or omissions of the entity or public employees acting within scope of employment. However, some exceptions still exist.
NEW MEXICO
Limited by statute.
NEW YORK
Require notice of claim within 90 days of occurrence and commencement of suit within 1 year and 90 days of occurrence. Other Notice of Claim provisions apply to different political subdivisions and actions against the State may only be brought in the Court of Claims where a judge alone (no jury).
NORTH CAROLINA
2 Years unless statute states otherwise.
NORTH DAKOTA
3 Years after occurrence. 180 days to make claim against State, 1 year for death claims. Limited by statute. Requires written notice to office of management and budget.
OHIO
Actions: 180 days from denial of claim. Claim must be presented within 1 year of occurrence.
OKLAHOMA
Actions: 180 days from denial of claim. Claim must be presented within 1 year of occurrence.
OREGON
Damages limited to $50,000 for property damage, $100,000 for claims arising out of a single occurrence, and over $500,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence.
PENNSYLVANIA
Reinstated by statute with 9 specific exceptions and with maximum damage awards.
PUERTO RICO
Waived with monetary exceptions.
RHODE ISLAND
3 Years If arising out of maintenance of streets, highways, or bridges, 60 day notice of claim requirement.
SOUTH CAROLINA
If notice of claim filed, SOL is 3 years. If no notice of claim filed, SOL is 2 years with discovery rule. State liable for torts, same as private individual, with some limitations and exemptions, however. No punitive or exemplary damages or interest prior to judgment may be recovered.
SOUTH DAKOTA
Subject to statutory exceptions. State and counties, cities and townships, and school districts are not liable for damages for neglectful conduct. Officer or employee of state acting within scope of employment is immune from liability. To extent, however, of liability insurance covering state, or any other public entity, sovereign immunity deemed waived.
TENNESSEE
Abolished for governmental entities in tort cases.
TEXAS
Waived, but notice required within 6 months of occurrence.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Limited. Sovereign Immunity waived with respect to injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by wrongful act or omission of government employee while acting within scope of his employment. $25,000 maximum recovery.
UTAH
2 Years for actions against state or municipalities.
VERMONT
State liable for certain injuries to same extent as private individuals however, numerous monetary limits apply.
VIRGINIA
Cities and towns can be sued but require the filing of a notice of claim within 6 months of the occurrence giving rise to the action. The notice requirement is tolled for incapacities until the plaintiff is able to give notice.
WASHINGTON
Doctrine abolished but numerous statutes apply with respect to special rules
WEST VIRGINIA
Not waived but held inapplicable to municipalities, counties, and board of education and state with liability insurance. Damages recoverable up to amount of insurance.
WISCONSIN
State retains sovereign immunity, except as provided by statute. Claims against municipalities permitted but governed by statutes with respect to types of cases and amounts of recovery.
WYOMING
Granted except for wrongful death, personal or property injuries, and certain cases of neglect however, numerous other restrictions apply.

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