State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title1 > Chapter39

CHAPTER 39 - GOVERNMENTAL CLAIMS

 

1-39-101. Short title.

 

Thisact shall be known and cited as the "Wyoming Governmental ClaimsAct".

 

1-39-102. Purpose.

 

(a) The Wyoming legislature recognizes the inherently unfairand inequitable results which occur in the strict application of the doctrineof governmental immunity and is cognizant of the Wyoming Supreme Court decisionof Oroz v. Board of County Commissioners 575 P. 2d 1155 (1978). It is furtherrecognized that the state and its political subdivisions as trustees of publicrevenues are constituted to serve the inhabitants of the state of Wyoming andfurnish certain services not available through private parties and, in the caseof the state, state revenues may only be expended upon legislativeappropriation. This act is adopted by the legislature to balance the respectiveequities between persons injured by governmental actions and the taxpayers ofthe state of Wyoming whose revenues are utilized by governmental entities onbehalf of those taxpayers. This act is intended to retain any common lawdefenses which a defendant may have by virtue of decisions from this or otherjurisdictions.

 

(b) In the case of the state, this act abolishes all judiciallycreated categories such as "governmental" or "proprietary"functions and "discretionary" or "ministerial" acts previouslyused by the courts to determine immunity or liability. This act does not imposenor allow the imposition of strict liability for acts of governmental entitiesor public employees.

 

1-39-103. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Governmental entity" means the state, Universityof Wyoming or any local government;

 

(ii) "Local government" means cities and towns,counties, school districts, joint powers boards, airport boards, publiccorporations, community college districts, special districts and theirgoverning bodies, all political subdivisions of the state, and their agencies,instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(iii) "Peace officer" means as defined by W.S. 7-2-101,but does not include those officers defined by W.S. 7-2-101(a)(iv)(K) or thoseofficers defined by W.S. 7-2-101(a)(iv)(M) unless otherwise provided in theapplicable mutual aid agreement;

 

(iv) "Public employee":

 

(A) Means any officer, employee or servant of a governmentalentity, including elected or appointed officials, peace officers and personsacting on behalf or in service of a governmental entity in any officialcapacity, whether with or without compensation;

 

(B) Does not include an independent contractor, except asprovided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, or a judicial officerexercising the authority vested in him;

 

(C) Includes contract physicians, physician assistants, nurses,optometrists and dentists in the course of providing contract services forstate institutions or county jails;

 

(D) Includes individuals engaged in search and rescueoperations under the coordination of a county sheriff pursuant to W.S.18-3-609(a)(iii) and the provisions of W.S. 1-39-112 shall apply for purposesof damages resulting from bodily injury, wrongful death or property damagecaused by their negligence while acting within the scope of their duties;

 

(E) Includes any volunteer physician providing medical servicesunder W.S. 9-2-103(a)(i)(C).

 

(v) "Scope of duties" means performing any dutieswhich a governmental entity requests, requires or authorizes a public employeeto perform regardless of the time and place of performance;

 

(vi) "State" or "state agency" means thestate of Wyoming or any of its branches, agencies, departments, boards,instrumentalities or institutions;

 

(vii) "Year 2000 date change" means the change fromcalendar year 1999 AD to 2000 AD and associated date computations including theproper recognition of the year 2000 as a leap year;

 

(viii) "This act" means W.S. 1-39-101 through 1-39-121.

 

1-39-104. Granting immunity from tort liability; liability oncontracts; exceptions.

 

(a) A governmental entity and its public employees while actingwithin the scope of duties are granted immunity from liability for any tortexcept as provided by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 and limited by W.S.1-39-121. Any immunity in actions based on a contract entered into by agovernmental entity is waived except to the extent provided by the contract ifthe contract was within the powers granted to the entity and was properlyexecuted and except as provided in W.S. 1-39-121. The claims procedures of W.S.1-39-113 apply to contractual claims against governmental entities.

 

(b) When liability is alleged against any public employee, ifthe governmental entity determines he was acting within the scope of his duty,whether or not alleged to have been committed maliciously or fraudulently, thegovernmental entity shall provide a defense at its expense.

 

(c) A governmental entity shall assume and pay a judgmententered under this act against any of its public employees, provided:

 

(i) The act or omission upon which the claim is based has beendetermined by a court or jury to be within the public employee's scope ofduties;

 

(ii) The payment for the judgment shall not exceed the limitsprovided by W.S. 1-39-118; and

 

(iii) All appropriate appeals from the judgment have beenexhausted or the time has expired when appeals may be taken.

 

(d) A governmental entity shall assume and pay settlements ofclaims under this act against its public employees in accordance with W.S.1-39-115, 1-41-106 or 1-42-204.

 

1-39-105. Liability; operation of motor vehicles, aircraft andwatercraft.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation of any motorvehicle, aircraft or watercraft.

 

1-39-106. Liability; buildings, recreation areas and public parks.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation or maintenanceof any building, recreation area or public park.

 

1-39-107. Liability; airports.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofpublic employees while acting within the scope of their duties in the operationof airports.

 

(b) The liability imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection does not include liability for damages due to the existence of anycondition arising out of compliance with any federal or state law or regulationgoverning the use and operation of airports.

 

1-39-108. Liability; public utilities.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofpublic employees while acting within the scope of their duties in the operationof public utilities and services including gas, electricity, water, solid orliquid waste collection or disposal, heating and ground transportation.

 

(b) The liability imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection does not include liability for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by a failure to provide an adequatesupply of gas, water, electricity or services as described in subsection (a) ofthis section.

 

1-39-109. Liability; medical facilities.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation of any publichospital or in providing public outpatient health care.

 

1-39-110. Liability; health care providers.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofhealth care providers who are employees of the governmental entity, includingcontract physicians, physician assistants, nurses, optometrists and dentistswho are providing a service for state institutions or county jails, whileacting within the scope of their duties.

 

(b) Notwithstanding W.S. 1-39-118(a), for claims under thissection against a physician, physician assistant, nurse, optometrist or dentistemployed by a governmental entity based upon an act, error or omissionoccurring on or after May 1, 1988, the liability of a governmental entity shallnot exceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) to any claimant forany number of claims arising out of a single transaction or occurrence norexceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for all claims of allclaimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

 

1-39-111. Repealed by Laws 1986, ch. 89, 3.

 

 

1-39-112. Liability; peace officers.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from tortious conduct ofpeace officers while acting within the scope of their duties.

 

1-39-113. Claims procedure.

 

(a) No action shall be brought under this act against agovernmental entity unless the claim upon which the action is based ispresented to the entity as an itemized statement in writing within two (2)years of the date of the alleged act, error or omission, except that a cause ofaction may be instituted not more than two (2) years after discovery of thealleged act, error or omission, if the claimant can establish that the allegedact, error or omission was:

 

(i) Not reasonably discoverable within a two (2) year period;or

 

(ii) The claimant failed to discover the alleged act, error oromission within the two (2) year period despite the exercise of due diligence.

 

(b) The claim shall state:

 

(i) The time, place and circumstances of the alleged loss orinjury including the name of the public employee involved, if known;

 

(ii) The name, address and residence of the claimant and hisrepresentative or attorney, if any; and

 

(iii) The amount of compensation or other relief demanded.

 

(c) All claims against the state shall be presented to thegeneral services division of the department of administration and information. Claims against any other governmental entity shall be filed at the businessoffice of that entity. In the case of claims against local governments theclaim submitted need not be acted upon by the entity prior to suit. Forpurposes of this section, "business office" means:

 

(i) The county clerk of a county, including its agencies,instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(ii) The city or town clerk of a city or town, including itsagencies, instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(iii) The secretary of a joint powers board, airport board,public corporation, community college district board of trustees or specialdistrict;

 

(iv) The superintendent of a school district;

 

(v) The president of the University of Wyoming.

 

(d) In any action under this act, the complaint shall state:

 

(i) That the claim required under subsection (c) of thissection was filed in accordance with this section;

 

(ii) The date the claim under subsection (c) of this section wasfiled;

 

(iii) That the claim was in compliance with the signature andcertification requirements of article 16, section 7 of the WyomingConstitution.

 

(e) In any claim filed with a governmental entity under thisact, the claim shall be signed by the claimant under oath in substantially thefollowing format:

 

I,_________________________ , have read and understand the provisions of thefalse swearing statute. I hereby certify under penalty of false swearingthat the foregoing claim, including all of its attachments, if any, is true andaccurate.

 

Signatureof Claimant Date

 

PrintedName of Claimant

 

STATEOF WYOMING )

 

) ss.

 

COUNTYOF ______________ )

 

Subscribed and sworn tobefore me, a Notarial Officer, this ... day of ....., . ...

 

NotarialOfficer

 

MyCommission Expires: (Seal).

 

1-39-114. Statute of limitations.

 

Exceptas otherwise provided, actions against a governmental entity or a publicemployee acting within the scope of his duties for torts occurring after June30, 1979 which are subject to this act shall be forever barred unless commencedwithin one (1) year after the date the claim is filed pursuant to W.S.1-39-113. In the case of a minor seven (7) years of age or younger, actionsagainst a governmental entity or public employee acting within the scope of hisduties for torts occurring after June 30, 1979 which are subject to this actare forever barred unless commenced within two (2) years after occurrence oruntil his eighth birthday, whichever period is greater. In no case shall thestatute of limitations provided in this section be longer than any otherapplicable statute of limitations. In the absence of applicable insurancecoverage, if the claim was properly filed, the statute shall be tolledforty-five (45) days after a decision by the entity, if the decision was notmade and mailed to the claimant within the statutory time limitation otherwiseprovided herein.

 

1-39-115. Settlement of claims.

 

(a) Upon receipt of a claim against the state which is coveredby insurance, the general services division of the department of administrationand information shall send the claim to the insurance company insuring the riskinvolved for investigation, adjustment, settlement and payment.

 

(b) A claim shall be settled only if the damage claimed wascaused by such negligence on the part of the state or its public employees asmight entitle the claimant to a judgment.

 

(c) Any person whose claim is rejected or who is unsatisfiedwith the settlement offered may commence an action in the appropriate court.

 

(d) Claims under this act which are not covered by insurancemay be settled as provided by W.S. 1-41-106 or 1-42-204.

 

1-39-116. Exclusiveness of remedy.

 

(a) The remedy against a governmental entity as provided bythis act is exclusive, and no other claim, civil action or proceeding fordamages, by reason of the same transaction or occurrence which was the subjectmatter of the original claim, civil action or proceeding may be brought againstthe governmental entity. No rights of a governmental entity to contribution,indemnity or subrogation shall be impaired by this section. Nothing in thissection prohibits any proceedings for mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus,injunction or quo warranto.

 

(b) The judgment in an action or a settlement under this actconstitutes a complete bar to any action by the claimant, by reason of the sametransaction or occurrence which was the subject matter of the original suit orclaim, against the governmental entity or the public employee whose negligencegave rise to the claim.

 

1-39-117. Jurisdiction; appeals; venue; trial by jury; liabilityinsurance.

 

(a) Original and exclusive jurisdiction for any claim underthis act shall be in the district courts of Wyoming. Appeals may be taken asprovided by law.

 

(b) Venue for any claim against the state or its publicemployees pursuant to this act shall be in the county in which the publicemployee resides or the cause of action arose or in Laramie county. Venue forall other claims pursuant to this act shall be in the county in which thedefendant resides or in which the principal office of the governmental entityis located.

 

(c) The right to a trial by jury is preserved.

 

(d) If a governmental entity has elected to purchase liabilityinsurance under this act, the court, in a trial without a jury, may be advisedof the insurance.

 

1-39-118. Maximum liability; insurance authorized.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, inany action under this act, the liability of the governmental entity, includinga public employee while acting within the scope of his duties, shall notexceed:

 

(i) The sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00)to any claimant for any number of claims arising out of a single transaction oroccurrence; or

 

(ii) The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) forall claims of all claimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

 

(b) A governmental entity is authorized to purchase liabilityinsurance coverage covering any acts or risks including all or any portion ofthe risks provided under this act. Purchase of liability insurance coverageshall extend the governmental entity's liability as follows:

 

(i) If a governmental entity has insurance coverage eitherexceeding the limits of liability as stated in this section or coveringliability which is not authorized by this act, the governmental entity'sliability is extended to the coverage;

 

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (i) of this subsection, if agovernmental entity acquires coverage in an amount greater than the limitsspecified in this section for the purpose of protecting itself against potentiallosses under a federal law and if the purpose of the coverage is stated as apart of or by an amendment to the insurance policy, the increased limits shallbe applicable only to claims brought under the federal law.

 

(c) In addition to the procurement of insurance undersubsection (b) of this section a local governmental entity may:

 

(i) Establish a self-insurance fund against the liability ofthe governmental entity and its officers and employees;

 

(ii) Join with other governmental entities, by joint powersagreements under W.S. 16-1-102 through 16-1-108, or otherwise, to pool fundsand establish a self-insurance fund or jointly purchase insurance coverage.Pooled funds may be deposited with the state treasurer for disbursement asparticipating governmental entities direct or may be deposited as provided bythe terms of the joint powers agreement;

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 142, 2.

 

(iv) Pay the judgment or settlement, with interest thereon, innot to exceed ten (10) annual installments in cases of undue hardship and levynot to exceed one (1) mill per year on the assessed value of the governmentalentity for such purpose;

 

(v) Enter into contracts with the general services division ofthe department of administration and information for the payment of assessmentsby the local government in such amounts as determined by the division to besufficient, on an actuarially sound basis, to cover:

 

(A) The potential liability, or any portion of potentialliability, of the local government and its public employees as provided by thisact;

 

(B) Costs of administration;

 

(C) Payment by the division of claims against the localgovernment and its public employees acting within the scope of their dutieswhich have been settled or reduced to final judgment.

 

(d) No judgment against a governmental entity shall include anaward for exemplary or punitive damages, for interest prior to judgments or forattorney's fees.

 

(e) Except as hereafter provided, no judgment authorized bythis act may be enforced by execution or attachment of property of agovernmental entity but shall be paid only as authorized by this section andW.S. 1-39-113. A judgment authorized by this act may be enforced by executionor attachment of the property of a governmental entity to the extent coverageof the liability has not been obtained under subsection (b) or (c) of thissection or W.S. 1-39-115 unless the judgment is otherwise satisfied by thegovernmental entity.

 

(f) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 mayinclude liability for property damage in an amount less than five hundreddollars ($500.00) in cases in which no personal injury or death resulted, butonly under the following conditions:

 

(i) A property damage claim may be paid at the discretion ofthe governmental entity:

 

(A) In the case of the state, the director of the department ofadministration and information or an employee designated in writing by thedirector shall decide whether the claim will be paid;

 

(B) In the case of a local governmental entity, the localgovernmental entity shall appoint an official who shall decide whether theclaim will be paid.

 

(ii) The decision of whether the property damage claim will bepaid shall be based on finding that:

 

(A) The act was performed by an employee of the state or thelocal governmental entity;

 

(B) The act occurred while the employee was acting within thescope of his employment duties;

 

(C) The employee acted negligently by breaching a duty or byfailing to act like a reasonable person; and

 

(D) The negligent act proximately caused the property damage atissue.

 

(iii) Property damage claims against the state shall be paid fromthe self-insurance account created by W.S. 1-41-103 except that claims againstthe department of transportation may be paid from nonrestricted highway funds.Property damage claims against a local governmental entity shall be paid onlyto the extent the local governing body has appropriated monies for thatpurpose. There is no obligation on the state legislature or the localgoverning body to make any appropriation for payment of property damage claims;

 

(iv) If the director of the department of administration andinformation or the local government official determines there may beinsufficient monies to pay all of the claims made during the year, then thedirector or official may delay paying the claims until close of the year atwhich time available monies shall be prorated among those entitled to paymentat an amount less than one hundred percent (100%);

 

(v) The decisions of the director of the department ofadministration and information or of the local government official are finaland are not subject to administrative or judicial review.

 

1-39-119. Application of provisions.

 

Theprovisions of this act shall not affect any provision of law, regulation oragreement governing employer-employee relationships.

 

1-39-120. Exclusions from waiver of immunity.

 

(a) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-106 through 1-39-112does not include liability for damages caused by:

 

(i) A defect in the plan or design of any bridge, culvert,highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area;

 

(ii) The failure to construct or reconstruct any bridge,culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area; or

 

(iii) The maintenance, including maintenance to compensate forweather conditions, of any bridge, culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley,sidewalk or parking area.

 

1-39-121. Granting immunity for year 2000 computer date failures.

 

(a) Notwithstanding the waiver of immunity for tort liabilityprovided by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 or the waiver of immunity in actionsbased on contract provided by W.S. 1-39-104, a governmental entity and itspublic employees while acting within the scope of duties are immune from acivil action in tort, contract or otherwise alleging, in whole or in part,computational, operational or interpretive errors, malfunctions or failuregenerated by computer or information system hardware or software or any othersuch device, including, but not limited to, any device containing or using datedependent embedded chips owned, controlled or operated by such governmentalentity or its public employees arising out of or in connection with the year2000 date change.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2010, Ch. 27, 2.

 

(c) A contract subject to this section which is entered into onor after the effective date of this act has the legal effect of including theimmunity required by this section, and any provision of the contract which isin conflict with this section is void.

 

(d) This section shall not be interpreted to interfere with acitizen's or governmental client's right to receive statutorily mandatedservices, entitlements or compensation from a governmental entity. In the eventof a governmental entity's failure to deliver such services, entitlements, orcompensation due to computational, operational or interpretive errors,malfunctions or failure arising out of or in connection with the year 2000 datechange, the remedies available to the citizen or client shall be the existingremedies provided by law, except as expressly limited by this section.

 

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title1 > Chapter39

CHAPTER 39 - GOVERNMENTAL CLAIMS

 

1-39-101. Short title.

 

Thisact shall be known and cited as the "Wyoming Governmental ClaimsAct".

 

1-39-102. Purpose.

 

(a) The Wyoming legislature recognizes the inherently unfairand inequitable results which occur in the strict application of the doctrineof governmental immunity and is cognizant of the Wyoming Supreme Court decisionof Oroz v. Board of County Commissioners 575 P. 2d 1155 (1978). It is furtherrecognized that the state and its political subdivisions as trustees of publicrevenues are constituted to serve the inhabitants of the state of Wyoming andfurnish certain services not available through private parties and, in the caseof the state, state revenues may only be expended upon legislativeappropriation. This act is adopted by the legislature to balance the respectiveequities between persons injured by governmental actions and the taxpayers ofthe state of Wyoming whose revenues are utilized by governmental entities onbehalf of those taxpayers. This act is intended to retain any common lawdefenses which a defendant may have by virtue of decisions from this or otherjurisdictions.

 

(b) In the case of the state, this act abolishes all judiciallycreated categories such as "governmental" or "proprietary"functions and "discretionary" or "ministerial" acts previouslyused by the courts to determine immunity or liability. This act does not imposenor allow the imposition of strict liability for acts of governmental entitiesor public employees.

 

1-39-103. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Governmental entity" means the state, Universityof Wyoming or any local government;

 

(ii) "Local government" means cities and towns,counties, school districts, joint powers boards, airport boards, publiccorporations, community college districts, special districts and theirgoverning bodies, all political subdivisions of the state, and their agencies,instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(iii) "Peace officer" means as defined by W.S. 7-2-101,but does not include those officers defined by W.S. 7-2-101(a)(iv)(K) or thoseofficers defined by W.S. 7-2-101(a)(iv)(M) unless otherwise provided in theapplicable mutual aid agreement;

 

(iv) "Public employee":

 

(A) Means any officer, employee or servant of a governmentalentity, including elected or appointed officials, peace officers and personsacting on behalf or in service of a governmental entity in any officialcapacity, whether with or without compensation;

 

(B) Does not include an independent contractor, except asprovided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, or a judicial officerexercising the authority vested in him;

 

(C) Includes contract physicians, physician assistants, nurses,optometrists and dentists in the course of providing contract services forstate institutions or county jails;

 

(D) Includes individuals engaged in search and rescueoperations under the coordination of a county sheriff pursuant to W.S.18-3-609(a)(iii) and the provisions of W.S. 1-39-112 shall apply for purposesof damages resulting from bodily injury, wrongful death or property damagecaused by their negligence while acting within the scope of their duties;

 

(E) Includes any volunteer physician providing medical servicesunder W.S. 9-2-103(a)(i)(C).

 

(v) "Scope of duties" means performing any dutieswhich a governmental entity requests, requires or authorizes a public employeeto perform regardless of the time and place of performance;

 

(vi) "State" or "state agency" means thestate of Wyoming or any of its branches, agencies, departments, boards,instrumentalities or institutions;

 

(vii) "Year 2000 date change" means the change fromcalendar year 1999 AD to 2000 AD and associated date computations including theproper recognition of the year 2000 as a leap year;

 

(viii) "This act" means W.S. 1-39-101 through 1-39-121.

 

1-39-104. Granting immunity from tort liability; liability oncontracts; exceptions.

 

(a) A governmental entity and its public employees while actingwithin the scope of duties are granted immunity from liability for any tortexcept as provided by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 and limited by W.S.1-39-121. Any immunity in actions based on a contract entered into by agovernmental entity is waived except to the extent provided by the contract ifthe contract was within the powers granted to the entity and was properlyexecuted and except as provided in W.S. 1-39-121. The claims procedures of W.S.1-39-113 apply to contractual claims against governmental entities.

 

(b) When liability is alleged against any public employee, ifthe governmental entity determines he was acting within the scope of his duty,whether or not alleged to have been committed maliciously or fraudulently, thegovernmental entity shall provide a defense at its expense.

 

(c) A governmental entity shall assume and pay a judgmententered under this act against any of its public employees, provided:

 

(i) The act or omission upon which the claim is based has beendetermined by a court or jury to be within the public employee's scope ofduties;

 

(ii) The payment for the judgment shall not exceed the limitsprovided by W.S. 1-39-118; and

 

(iii) All appropriate appeals from the judgment have beenexhausted or the time has expired when appeals may be taken.

 

(d) A governmental entity shall assume and pay settlements ofclaims under this act against its public employees in accordance with W.S.1-39-115, 1-41-106 or 1-42-204.

 

1-39-105. Liability; operation of motor vehicles, aircraft andwatercraft.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation of any motorvehicle, aircraft or watercraft.

 

1-39-106. Liability; buildings, recreation areas and public parks.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation or maintenanceof any building, recreation area or public park.

 

1-39-107. Liability; airports.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofpublic employees while acting within the scope of their duties in the operationof airports.

 

(b) The liability imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection does not include liability for damages due to the existence of anycondition arising out of compliance with any federal or state law or regulationgoverning the use and operation of airports.

 

1-39-108. Liability; public utilities.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofpublic employees while acting within the scope of their duties in the operationof public utilities and services including gas, electricity, water, solid orliquid waste collection or disposal, heating and ground transportation.

 

(b) The liability imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection does not include liability for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by a failure to provide an adequatesupply of gas, water, electricity or services as described in subsection (a) ofthis section.

 

1-39-109. Liability; medical facilities.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation of any publichospital or in providing public outpatient health care.

 

1-39-110. Liability; health care providers.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofhealth care providers who are employees of the governmental entity, includingcontract physicians, physician assistants, nurses, optometrists and dentistswho are providing a service for state institutions or county jails, whileacting within the scope of their duties.

 

(b) Notwithstanding W.S. 1-39-118(a), for claims under thissection against a physician, physician assistant, nurse, optometrist or dentistemployed by a governmental entity based upon an act, error or omissionoccurring on or after May 1, 1988, the liability of a governmental entity shallnot exceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) to any claimant forany number of claims arising out of a single transaction or occurrence norexceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for all claims of allclaimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

 

1-39-111. Repealed by Laws 1986, ch. 89, 3.

 

 

1-39-112. Liability; peace officers.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from tortious conduct ofpeace officers while acting within the scope of their duties.

 

1-39-113. Claims procedure.

 

(a) No action shall be brought under this act against agovernmental entity unless the claim upon which the action is based ispresented to the entity as an itemized statement in writing within two (2)years of the date of the alleged act, error or omission, except that a cause ofaction may be instituted not more than two (2) years after discovery of thealleged act, error or omission, if the claimant can establish that the allegedact, error or omission was:

 

(i) Not reasonably discoverable within a two (2) year period;or

 

(ii) The claimant failed to discover the alleged act, error oromission within the two (2) year period despite the exercise of due diligence.

 

(b) The claim shall state:

 

(i) The time, place and circumstances of the alleged loss orinjury including the name of the public employee involved, if known;

 

(ii) The name, address and residence of the claimant and hisrepresentative or attorney, if any; and

 

(iii) The amount of compensation or other relief demanded.

 

(c) All claims against the state shall be presented to thegeneral services division of the department of administration and information. Claims against any other governmental entity shall be filed at the businessoffice of that entity. In the case of claims against local governments theclaim submitted need not be acted upon by the entity prior to suit. Forpurposes of this section, "business office" means:

 

(i) The county clerk of a county, including its agencies,instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(ii) The city or town clerk of a city or town, including itsagencies, instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(iii) The secretary of a joint powers board, airport board,public corporation, community college district board of trustees or specialdistrict;

 

(iv) The superintendent of a school district;

 

(v) The president of the University of Wyoming.

 

(d) In any action under this act, the complaint shall state:

 

(i) That the claim required under subsection (c) of thissection was filed in accordance with this section;

 

(ii) The date the claim under subsection (c) of this section wasfiled;

 

(iii) That the claim was in compliance with the signature andcertification requirements of article 16, section 7 of the WyomingConstitution.

 

(e) In any claim filed with a governmental entity under thisact, the claim shall be signed by the claimant under oath in substantially thefollowing format:

 

I,_________________________ , have read and understand the provisions of thefalse swearing statute. I hereby certify under penalty of false swearingthat the foregoing claim, including all of its attachments, if any, is true andaccurate.

 

Signatureof Claimant Date

 

PrintedName of Claimant

 

STATEOF WYOMING )

 

) ss.

 

COUNTYOF ______________ )

 

Subscribed and sworn tobefore me, a Notarial Officer, this ... day of ....., . ...

 

NotarialOfficer

 

MyCommission Expires: (Seal).

 

1-39-114. Statute of limitations.

 

Exceptas otherwise provided, actions against a governmental entity or a publicemployee acting within the scope of his duties for torts occurring after June30, 1979 which are subject to this act shall be forever barred unless commencedwithin one (1) year after the date the claim is filed pursuant to W.S.1-39-113. In the case of a minor seven (7) years of age or younger, actionsagainst a governmental entity or public employee acting within the scope of hisduties for torts occurring after June 30, 1979 which are subject to this actare forever barred unless commenced within two (2) years after occurrence oruntil his eighth birthday, whichever period is greater. In no case shall thestatute of limitations provided in this section be longer than any otherapplicable statute of limitations. In the absence of applicable insurancecoverage, if the claim was properly filed, the statute shall be tolledforty-five (45) days after a decision by the entity, if the decision was notmade and mailed to the claimant within the statutory time limitation otherwiseprovided herein.

 

1-39-115. Settlement of claims.

 

(a) Upon receipt of a claim against the state which is coveredby insurance, the general services division of the department of administrationand information shall send the claim to the insurance company insuring the riskinvolved for investigation, adjustment, settlement and payment.

 

(b) A claim shall be settled only if the damage claimed wascaused by such negligence on the part of the state or its public employees asmight entitle the claimant to a judgment.

 

(c) Any person whose claim is rejected or who is unsatisfiedwith the settlement offered may commence an action in the appropriate court.

 

(d) Claims under this act which are not covered by insurancemay be settled as provided by W.S. 1-41-106 or 1-42-204.

 

1-39-116. Exclusiveness of remedy.

 

(a) The remedy against a governmental entity as provided bythis act is exclusive, and no other claim, civil action or proceeding fordamages, by reason of the same transaction or occurrence which was the subjectmatter of the original claim, civil action or proceeding may be brought againstthe governmental entity. No rights of a governmental entity to contribution,indemnity or subrogation shall be impaired by this section. Nothing in thissection prohibits any proceedings for mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus,injunction or quo warranto.

 

(b) The judgment in an action or a settlement under this actconstitutes a complete bar to any action by the claimant, by reason of the sametransaction or occurrence which was the subject matter of the original suit orclaim, against the governmental entity or the public employee whose negligencegave rise to the claim.

 

1-39-117. Jurisdiction; appeals; venue; trial by jury; liabilityinsurance.

 

(a) Original and exclusive jurisdiction for any claim underthis act shall be in the district courts of Wyoming. Appeals may be taken asprovided by law.

 

(b) Venue for any claim against the state or its publicemployees pursuant to this act shall be in the county in which the publicemployee resides or the cause of action arose or in Laramie county. Venue forall other claims pursuant to this act shall be in the county in which thedefendant resides or in which the principal office of the governmental entityis located.

 

(c) The right to a trial by jury is preserved.

 

(d) If a governmental entity has elected to purchase liabilityinsurance under this act, the court, in a trial without a jury, may be advisedof the insurance.

 

1-39-118. Maximum liability; insurance authorized.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, inany action under this act, the liability of the governmental entity, includinga public employee while acting within the scope of his duties, shall notexceed:

 

(i) The sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00)to any claimant for any number of claims arising out of a single transaction oroccurrence; or

 

(ii) The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) forall claims of all claimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

 

(b) A governmental entity is authorized to purchase liabilityinsurance coverage covering any acts or risks including all or any portion ofthe risks provided under this act. Purchase of liability insurance coverageshall extend the governmental entity's liability as follows:

 

(i) If a governmental entity has insurance coverage eitherexceeding the limits of liability as stated in this section or coveringliability which is not authorized by this act, the governmental entity'sliability is extended to the coverage;

 

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (i) of this subsection, if agovernmental entity acquires coverage in an amount greater than the limitsspecified in this section for the purpose of protecting itself against potentiallosses under a federal law and if the purpose of the coverage is stated as apart of or by an amendment to the insurance policy, the increased limits shallbe applicable only to claims brought under the federal law.

 

(c) In addition to the procurement of insurance undersubsection (b) of this section a local governmental entity may:

 

(i) Establish a self-insurance fund against the liability ofthe governmental entity and its officers and employees;

 

(ii) Join with other governmental entities, by joint powersagreements under W.S. 16-1-102 through 16-1-108, or otherwise, to pool fundsand establish a self-insurance fund or jointly purchase insurance coverage.Pooled funds may be deposited with the state treasurer for disbursement asparticipating governmental entities direct or may be deposited as provided bythe terms of the joint powers agreement;

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 142, 2.

 

(iv) Pay the judgment or settlement, with interest thereon, innot to exceed ten (10) annual installments in cases of undue hardship and levynot to exceed one (1) mill per year on the assessed value of the governmentalentity for such purpose;

 

(v) Enter into contracts with the general services division ofthe department of administration and information for the payment of assessmentsby the local government in such amounts as determined by the division to besufficient, on an actuarially sound basis, to cover:

 

(A) The potential liability, or any portion of potentialliability, of the local government and its public employees as provided by thisact;

 

(B) Costs of administration;

 

(C) Payment by the division of claims against the localgovernment and its public employees acting within the scope of their dutieswhich have been settled or reduced to final judgment.

 

(d) No judgment against a governmental entity shall include anaward for exemplary or punitive damages, for interest prior to judgments or forattorney's fees.

 

(e) Except as hereafter provided, no judgment authorized bythis act may be enforced by execution or attachment of property of agovernmental entity but shall be paid only as authorized by this section andW.S. 1-39-113. A judgment authorized by this act may be enforced by executionor attachment of the property of a governmental entity to the extent coverageof the liability has not been obtained under subsection (b) or (c) of thissection or W.S. 1-39-115 unless the judgment is otherwise satisfied by thegovernmental entity.

 

(f) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 mayinclude liability for property damage in an amount less than five hundreddollars ($500.00) in cases in which no personal injury or death resulted, butonly under the following conditions:

 

(i) A property damage claim may be paid at the discretion ofthe governmental entity:

 

(A) In the case of the state, the director of the department ofadministration and information or an employee designated in writing by thedirector shall decide whether the claim will be paid;

 

(B) In the case of a local governmental entity, the localgovernmental entity shall appoint an official who shall decide whether theclaim will be paid.

 

(ii) The decision of whether the property damage claim will bepaid shall be based on finding that:

 

(A) The act was performed by an employee of the state or thelocal governmental entity;

 

(B) The act occurred while the employee was acting within thescope of his employment duties;

 

(C) The employee acted negligently by breaching a duty or byfailing to act like a reasonable person; and

 

(D) The negligent act proximately caused the property damage atissue.

 

(iii) Property damage claims against the state shall be paid fromthe self-insurance account created by W.S. 1-41-103 except that claims againstthe department of transportation may be paid from nonrestricted highway funds.Property damage claims against a local governmental entity shall be paid onlyto the extent the local governing body has appropriated monies for thatpurpose. There is no obligation on the state legislature or the localgoverning body to make any appropriation for payment of property damage claims;

 

(iv) If the director of the department of administration andinformation or the local government official determines there may beinsufficient monies to pay all of the claims made during the year, then thedirector or official may delay paying the claims until close of the year atwhich time available monies shall be prorated among those entitled to paymentat an amount less than one hundred percent (100%);

 

(v) The decisions of the director of the department ofadministration and information or of the local government official are finaland are not subject to administrative or judicial review.

 

1-39-119. Application of provisions.

 

Theprovisions of this act shall not affect any provision of law, regulation oragreement governing employer-employee relationships.

 

1-39-120. Exclusions from waiver of immunity.

 

(a) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-106 through 1-39-112does not include liability for damages caused by:

 

(i) A defect in the plan or design of any bridge, culvert,highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area;

 

(ii) The failure to construct or reconstruct any bridge,culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area; or

 

(iii) The maintenance, including maintenance to compensate forweather conditions, of any bridge, culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley,sidewalk or parking area.

 

1-39-121. Granting immunity for year 2000 computer date failures.

 

(a) Notwithstanding the waiver of immunity for tort liabilityprovided by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 or the waiver of immunity in actionsbased on contract provided by W.S. 1-39-104, a governmental entity and itspublic employees while acting within the scope of duties are immune from acivil action in tort, contract or otherwise alleging, in whole or in part,computational, operational or interpretive errors, malfunctions or failuregenerated by computer or information system hardware or software or any othersuch device, including, but not limited to, any device containing or using datedependent embedded chips owned, controlled or operated by such governmentalentity or its public employees arising out of or in connection with the year2000 date change.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2010, Ch. 27, 2.

 

(c) A contract subject to this section which is entered into onor after the effective date of this act has the legal effect of including theimmunity required by this section, and any provision of the contract which isin conflict with this section is void.

 

(d) This section shall not be interpreted to interfere with acitizen's or governmental client's right to receive statutorily mandatedservices, entitlements or compensation from a governmental entity. In the eventof a governmental entity's failure to deliver such services, entitlements, orcompensation due to computational, operational or interpretive errors,malfunctions or failure arising out of or in connection with the year 2000 datechange, the remedies available to the citizen or client shall be the existingremedies provided by law, except as expressly limited by this section.

 


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title1 > Chapter39

CHAPTER 39 - GOVERNMENTAL CLAIMS

 

1-39-101. Short title.

 

Thisact shall be known and cited as the "Wyoming Governmental ClaimsAct".

 

1-39-102. Purpose.

 

(a) The Wyoming legislature recognizes the inherently unfairand inequitable results which occur in the strict application of the doctrineof governmental immunity and is cognizant of the Wyoming Supreme Court decisionof Oroz v. Board of County Commissioners 575 P. 2d 1155 (1978). It is furtherrecognized that the state and its political subdivisions as trustees of publicrevenues are constituted to serve the inhabitants of the state of Wyoming andfurnish certain services not available through private parties and, in the caseof the state, state revenues may only be expended upon legislativeappropriation. This act is adopted by the legislature to balance the respectiveequities between persons injured by governmental actions and the taxpayers ofthe state of Wyoming whose revenues are utilized by governmental entities onbehalf of those taxpayers. This act is intended to retain any common lawdefenses which a defendant may have by virtue of decisions from this or otherjurisdictions.

 

(b) In the case of the state, this act abolishes all judiciallycreated categories such as "governmental" or "proprietary"functions and "discretionary" or "ministerial" acts previouslyused by the courts to determine immunity or liability. This act does not imposenor allow the imposition of strict liability for acts of governmental entitiesor public employees.

 

1-39-103. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Governmental entity" means the state, Universityof Wyoming or any local government;

 

(ii) "Local government" means cities and towns,counties, school districts, joint powers boards, airport boards, publiccorporations, community college districts, special districts and theirgoverning bodies, all political subdivisions of the state, and their agencies,instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(iii) "Peace officer" means as defined by W.S. 7-2-101,but does not include those officers defined by W.S. 7-2-101(a)(iv)(K) or thoseofficers defined by W.S. 7-2-101(a)(iv)(M) unless otherwise provided in theapplicable mutual aid agreement;

 

(iv) "Public employee":

 

(A) Means any officer, employee or servant of a governmentalentity, including elected or appointed officials, peace officers and personsacting on behalf or in service of a governmental entity in any officialcapacity, whether with or without compensation;

 

(B) Does not include an independent contractor, except asprovided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, or a judicial officerexercising the authority vested in him;

 

(C) Includes contract physicians, physician assistants, nurses,optometrists and dentists in the course of providing contract services forstate institutions or county jails;

 

(D) Includes individuals engaged in search and rescueoperations under the coordination of a county sheriff pursuant to W.S.18-3-609(a)(iii) and the provisions of W.S. 1-39-112 shall apply for purposesof damages resulting from bodily injury, wrongful death or property damagecaused by their negligence while acting within the scope of their duties;

 

(E) Includes any volunteer physician providing medical servicesunder W.S. 9-2-103(a)(i)(C).

 

(v) "Scope of duties" means performing any dutieswhich a governmental entity requests, requires or authorizes a public employeeto perform regardless of the time and place of performance;

 

(vi) "State" or "state agency" means thestate of Wyoming or any of its branches, agencies, departments, boards,instrumentalities or institutions;

 

(vii) "Year 2000 date change" means the change fromcalendar year 1999 AD to 2000 AD and associated date computations including theproper recognition of the year 2000 as a leap year;

 

(viii) "This act" means W.S. 1-39-101 through 1-39-121.

 

1-39-104. Granting immunity from tort liability; liability oncontracts; exceptions.

 

(a) A governmental entity and its public employees while actingwithin the scope of duties are granted immunity from liability for any tortexcept as provided by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 and limited by W.S.1-39-121. Any immunity in actions based on a contract entered into by agovernmental entity is waived except to the extent provided by the contract ifthe contract was within the powers granted to the entity and was properlyexecuted and except as provided in W.S. 1-39-121. The claims procedures of W.S.1-39-113 apply to contractual claims against governmental entities.

 

(b) When liability is alleged against any public employee, ifthe governmental entity determines he was acting within the scope of his duty,whether or not alleged to have been committed maliciously or fraudulently, thegovernmental entity shall provide a defense at its expense.

 

(c) A governmental entity shall assume and pay a judgmententered under this act against any of its public employees, provided:

 

(i) The act or omission upon which the claim is based has beendetermined by a court or jury to be within the public employee's scope ofduties;

 

(ii) The payment for the judgment shall not exceed the limitsprovided by W.S. 1-39-118; and

 

(iii) All appropriate appeals from the judgment have beenexhausted or the time has expired when appeals may be taken.

 

(d) A governmental entity shall assume and pay settlements ofclaims under this act against its public employees in accordance with W.S.1-39-115, 1-41-106 or 1-42-204.

 

1-39-105. Liability; operation of motor vehicles, aircraft andwatercraft.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation of any motorvehicle, aircraft or watercraft.

 

1-39-106. Liability; buildings, recreation areas and public parks.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation or maintenanceof any building, recreation area or public park.

 

1-39-107. Liability; airports.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofpublic employees while acting within the scope of their duties in the operationof airports.

 

(b) The liability imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection does not include liability for damages due to the existence of anycondition arising out of compliance with any federal or state law or regulationgoverning the use and operation of airports.

 

1-39-108. Liability; public utilities.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofpublic employees while acting within the scope of their duties in the operationof public utilities and services including gas, electricity, water, solid orliquid waste collection or disposal, heating and ground transportation.

 

(b) The liability imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection does not include liability for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by a failure to provide an adequatesupply of gas, water, electricity or services as described in subsection (a) ofthis section.

 

1-39-109. Liability; medical facilities.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from bodily injury,wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employeeswhile acting within the scope of their duties in the operation of any publichospital or in providing public outpatient health care.

 

1-39-110. Liability; health care providers.

 

(a) A governmental entity is liable for damages resulting frombodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence ofhealth care providers who are employees of the governmental entity, includingcontract physicians, physician assistants, nurses, optometrists and dentistswho are providing a service for state institutions or county jails, whileacting within the scope of their duties.

 

(b) Notwithstanding W.S. 1-39-118(a), for claims under thissection against a physician, physician assistant, nurse, optometrist or dentistemployed by a governmental entity based upon an act, error or omissionoccurring on or after May 1, 1988, the liability of a governmental entity shallnot exceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) to any claimant forany number of claims arising out of a single transaction or occurrence norexceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for all claims of allclaimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

 

1-39-111. Repealed by Laws 1986, ch. 89, 3.

 

 

1-39-112. Liability; peace officers.

 

Agovernmental entity is liable for damages resulting from tortious conduct ofpeace officers while acting within the scope of their duties.

 

1-39-113. Claims procedure.

 

(a) No action shall be brought under this act against agovernmental entity unless the claim upon which the action is based ispresented to the entity as an itemized statement in writing within two (2)years of the date of the alleged act, error or omission, except that a cause ofaction may be instituted not more than two (2) years after discovery of thealleged act, error or omission, if the claimant can establish that the allegedact, error or omission was:

 

(i) Not reasonably discoverable within a two (2) year period;or

 

(ii) The claimant failed to discover the alleged act, error oromission within the two (2) year period despite the exercise of due diligence.

 

(b) The claim shall state:

 

(i) The time, place and circumstances of the alleged loss orinjury including the name of the public employee involved, if known;

 

(ii) The name, address and residence of the claimant and hisrepresentative or attorney, if any; and

 

(iii) The amount of compensation or other relief demanded.

 

(c) All claims against the state shall be presented to thegeneral services division of the department of administration and information. Claims against any other governmental entity shall be filed at the businessoffice of that entity. In the case of claims against local governments theclaim submitted need not be acted upon by the entity prior to suit. Forpurposes of this section, "business office" means:

 

(i) The county clerk of a county, including its agencies,instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(ii) The city or town clerk of a city or town, including itsagencies, instrumentalities and institutions;

 

(iii) The secretary of a joint powers board, airport board,public corporation, community college district board of trustees or specialdistrict;

 

(iv) The superintendent of a school district;

 

(v) The president of the University of Wyoming.

 

(d) In any action under this act, the complaint shall state:

 

(i) That the claim required under subsection (c) of thissection was filed in accordance with this section;

 

(ii) The date the claim under subsection (c) of this section wasfiled;

 

(iii) That the claim was in compliance with the signature andcertification requirements of article 16, section 7 of the WyomingConstitution.

 

(e) In any claim filed with a governmental entity under thisact, the claim shall be signed by the claimant under oath in substantially thefollowing format:

 

I,_________________________ , have read and understand the provisions of thefalse swearing statute. I hereby certify under penalty of false swearingthat the foregoing claim, including all of its attachments, if any, is true andaccurate.

 

Signatureof Claimant Date

 

PrintedName of Claimant

 

STATEOF WYOMING )

 

) ss.

 

COUNTYOF ______________ )

 

Subscribed and sworn tobefore me, a Notarial Officer, this ... day of ....., . ...

 

NotarialOfficer

 

MyCommission Expires: (Seal).

 

1-39-114. Statute of limitations.

 

Exceptas otherwise provided, actions against a governmental entity or a publicemployee acting within the scope of his duties for torts occurring after June30, 1979 which are subject to this act shall be forever barred unless commencedwithin one (1) year after the date the claim is filed pursuant to W.S.1-39-113. In the case of a minor seven (7) years of age or younger, actionsagainst a governmental entity or public employee acting within the scope of hisduties for torts occurring after June 30, 1979 which are subject to this actare forever barred unless commenced within two (2) years after occurrence oruntil his eighth birthday, whichever period is greater. In no case shall thestatute of limitations provided in this section be longer than any otherapplicable statute of limitations. In the absence of applicable insurancecoverage, if the claim was properly filed, the statute shall be tolledforty-five (45) days after a decision by the entity, if the decision was notmade and mailed to the claimant within the statutory time limitation otherwiseprovided herein.

 

1-39-115. Settlement of claims.

 

(a) Upon receipt of a claim against the state which is coveredby insurance, the general services division of the department of administrationand information shall send the claim to the insurance company insuring the riskinvolved for investigation, adjustment, settlement and payment.

 

(b) A claim shall be settled only if the damage claimed wascaused by such negligence on the part of the state or its public employees asmight entitle the claimant to a judgment.

 

(c) Any person whose claim is rejected or who is unsatisfiedwith the settlement offered may commence an action in the appropriate court.

 

(d) Claims under this act which are not covered by insurancemay be settled as provided by W.S. 1-41-106 or 1-42-204.

 

1-39-116. Exclusiveness of remedy.

 

(a) The remedy against a governmental entity as provided bythis act is exclusive, and no other claim, civil action or proceeding fordamages, by reason of the same transaction or occurrence which was the subjectmatter of the original claim, civil action or proceeding may be brought againstthe governmental entity. No rights of a governmental entity to contribution,indemnity or subrogation shall be impaired by this section. Nothing in thissection prohibits any proceedings for mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus,injunction or quo warranto.

 

(b) The judgment in an action or a settlement under this actconstitutes a complete bar to any action by the claimant, by reason of the sametransaction or occurrence which was the subject matter of the original suit orclaim, against the governmental entity or the public employee whose negligencegave rise to the claim.

 

1-39-117. Jurisdiction; appeals; venue; trial by jury; liabilityinsurance.

 

(a) Original and exclusive jurisdiction for any claim underthis act shall be in the district courts of Wyoming. Appeals may be taken asprovided by law.

 

(b) Venue for any claim against the state or its publicemployees pursuant to this act shall be in the county in which the publicemployee resides or the cause of action arose or in Laramie county. Venue forall other claims pursuant to this act shall be in the county in which thedefendant resides or in which the principal office of the governmental entityis located.

 

(c) The right to a trial by jury is preserved.

 

(d) If a governmental entity has elected to purchase liabilityinsurance under this act, the court, in a trial without a jury, may be advisedof the insurance.

 

1-39-118. Maximum liability; insurance authorized.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, inany action under this act, the liability of the governmental entity, includinga public employee while acting within the scope of his duties, shall notexceed:

 

(i) The sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00)to any claimant for any number of claims arising out of a single transaction oroccurrence; or

 

(ii) The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) forall claims of all claimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

 

(b) A governmental entity is authorized to purchase liabilityinsurance coverage covering any acts or risks including all or any portion ofthe risks provided under this act. Purchase of liability insurance coverageshall extend the governmental entity's liability as follows:

 

(i) If a governmental entity has insurance coverage eitherexceeding the limits of liability as stated in this section or coveringliability which is not authorized by this act, the governmental entity'sliability is extended to the coverage;

 

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (i) of this subsection, if agovernmental entity acquires coverage in an amount greater than the limitsspecified in this section for the purpose of protecting itself against potentiallosses under a federal law and if the purpose of the coverage is stated as apart of or by an amendment to the insurance policy, the increased limits shallbe applicable only to claims brought under the federal law.

 

(c) In addition to the procurement of insurance undersubsection (b) of this section a local governmental entity may:

 

(i) Establish a self-insurance fund against the liability ofthe governmental entity and its officers and employees;

 

(ii) Join with other governmental entities, by joint powersagreements under W.S. 16-1-102 through 16-1-108, or otherwise, to pool fundsand establish a self-insurance fund or jointly purchase insurance coverage.Pooled funds may be deposited with the state treasurer for disbursement asparticipating governmental entities direct or may be deposited as provided bythe terms of the joint powers agreement;

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 142, 2.

 

(iv) Pay the judgment or settlement, with interest thereon, innot to exceed ten (10) annual installments in cases of undue hardship and levynot to exceed one (1) mill per year on the assessed value of the governmentalentity for such purpose;

 

(v) Enter into contracts with the general services division ofthe department of administration and information for the payment of assessmentsby the local government in such amounts as determined by the division to besufficient, on an actuarially sound basis, to cover:

 

(A) The potential liability, or any portion of potentialliability, of the local government and its public employees as provided by thisact;

 

(B) Costs of administration;

 

(C) Payment by the division of claims against the localgovernment and its public employees acting within the scope of their dutieswhich have been settled or reduced to final judgment.

 

(d) No judgment against a governmental entity shall include anaward for exemplary or punitive damages, for interest prior to judgments or forattorney's fees.

 

(e) Except as hereafter provided, no judgment authorized bythis act may be enforced by execution or attachment of property of agovernmental entity but shall be paid only as authorized by this section andW.S. 1-39-113. A judgment authorized by this act may be enforced by executionor attachment of the property of a governmental entity to the extent coverageof the liability has not been obtained under subsection (b) or (c) of thissection or W.S. 1-39-115 unless the judgment is otherwise satisfied by thegovernmental entity.

 

(f) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 mayinclude liability for property damage in an amount less than five hundreddollars ($500.00) in cases in which no personal injury or death resulted, butonly under the following conditions:

 

(i) A property damage claim may be paid at the discretion ofthe governmental entity:

 

(A) In the case of the state, the director of the department ofadministration and information or an employee designated in writing by thedirector shall decide whether the claim will be paid;

 

(B) In the case of a local governmental entity, the localgovernmental entity shall appoint an official who shall decide whether theclaim will be paid.

 

(ii) The decision of whether the property damage claim will bepaid shall be based on finding that:

 

(A) The act was performed by an employee of the state or thelocal governmental entity;

 

(B) The act occurred while the employee was acting within thescope of his employment duties;

 

(C) The employee acted negligently by breaching a duty or byfailing to act like a reasonable person; and

 

(D) The negligent act proximately caused the property damage atissue.

 

(iii) Property damage claims against the state shall be paid fromthe self-insurance account created by W.S. 1-41-103 except that claims againstthe department of transportation may be paid from nonrestricted highway funds.Property damage claims against a local governmental entity shall be paid onlyto the extent the local governing body has appropriated monies for thatpurpose. There is no obligation on the state legislature or the localgoverning body to make any appropriation for payment of property damage claims;

 

(iv) If the director of the department of administration andinformation or the local government official determines there may beinsufficient monies to pay all of the claims made during the year, then thedirector or official may delay paying the claims until close of the year atwhich time available monies shall be prorated among those entitled to paymentat an amount less than one hundred percent (100%);

 

(v) The decisions of the director of the department ofadministration and information or of the local government official are finaland are not subject to administrative or judicial review.

 

1-39-119. Application of provisions.

 

Theprovisions of this act shall not affect any provision of law, regulation oragreement governing employer-employee relationships.

 

1-39-120. Exclusions from waiver of immunity.

 

(a) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-106 through 1-39-112does not include liability for damages caused by:

 

(i) A defect in the plan or design of any bridge, culvert,highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area;

 

(ii) The failure to construct or reconstruct any bridge,culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area; or

 

(iii) The maintenance, including maintenance to compensate forweather conditions, of any bridge, culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley,sidewalk or parking area.

 

1-39-121. Granting immunity for year 2000 computer date failures.

 

(a) Notwithstanding the waiver of immunity for tort liabilityprovided by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 or the waiver of immunity in actionsbased on contract provided by W.S. 1-39-104, a governmental entity and itspublic employees while acting within the scope of duties are immune from acivil action in tort, contract or otherwise alleging, in whole or in part,computational, operational or interpretive errors, malfunctions or failuregenerated by computer or information system hardware or software or any othersuch device, including, but not limited to, any device containing or using datedependent embedded chips owned, controlled or operated by such governmentalentity or its public employees arising out of or in connection with the year2000 date change.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2010, Ch. 27, 2.

 

(c) A contract subject to this section which is entered into onor after the effective date of this act has the legal effect of including theimmunity required by this section, and any provision of the contract which isin conflict with this section is void.

 

(d) This section shall not be interpreted to interfere with acitizen's or governmental client's right to receive statutorily mandatedservices, entitlements or compensation from a governmental entity. In the eventof a governmental entity's failure to deliver such services, entitlements, orcompensation due to computational, operational or interpretive errors,malfunctions or failure arising out of or in connection with the year 2000 datechange, the remedies available to the citizen or client shall be the existingremedies provided by law, except as expressly limited by this section.

 

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