On May 3, 2012, Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Bill Cadman introduced HB 12-1361 – Concerning Claims Against the State Arising Under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.” This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
In connection with the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act” (CGIA):
- The bill expands the definition of “dangerous condition” to include a prescribed fire started or maintained by the state. In addition to any other claims for which the state waives immunity under the CGIA, the bill waives sovereign immunity in connection with claims against the state in an action for injuries resulting from a dangerous condition caused by a prescribed fire started or maintained by the state or any of its employees on or after January 1, 2012.
- The bill specifies that it shall not be construed to constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity if the injury arises from any act, or failure to act, of a state employee if the act is the type of act for which the state employee would be or heretofore has been personally immune from liability.
- The bill also specifies that the state shall also have the same immunity as a state employee for any act or failure to act for which a state employee would be or heretofore has been personally immune from liability.
The bill modifies existing law to clarify the requirements under which an amount may be recovered against the state in excess of the maximum liability amounts specified in the CGIA. The bill clarifies existing provisions to specify that the general assembly acting by bill may authorize payment of all or a portion of a judgment against the state that exceeds the maximum amounts.
The bill sets up an alternate procedure under which the state claims board, after compromising or settling a clam on behalf of the state for the maximum liability limits under the CGIA, is empowered to determine, in its sole discretion, whether to recommend to the general assembly that the general assembly, by bill, authorize all or any portion of any such additional payment. In determining whether to make such recommendation, the claims board is required to consider interests of fairness, the public interest, and the interests of the state. A recommendation made by the claims board shall not include payment for noneconomic loss or injury and is to be reduced to the extent the claimant’s loss is or will be covered by another source, including any insurance proceeds that have been paid or will be paid, and no insurer shall have a right of subrogation against the claimant for any additional payment or any portion of such payment that is approved by the general assembly. Any additional payment or any portion of such payment approved by the general assembly is to be paid from the general fund.
The bill was introduced on May 3. On May 4 the Appropriations committee referred the unamended bill to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading. On Friday, May 4 the bill passed on 2nd Reading with amendments. On Monday, May 7, the House adopted the bill on 3rd Reading on a vote of 59-5-1.
Since this summary, the bill passed all three readings in the Senate, unamended.
Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.