July 17, 2019

SB 13-023: Increasing the Limits on Damages that May be Recovered Under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Sen. Bill Cadman introduced SB 13-023 – Concerning an Increase in the Limitation on the Amount of Damages that May be Recovered by an Injured Party Under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.” This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Currently, the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act” (Act) sets as a maximum amount that may be recovered by a person suing a public entity or public employee for loss or injury caused by the entity or employee in any single occurrence, whether from one or more public entities and public employees:

  • For any injury to one person in any single occurrence, the sum of $150,000; and
  • For an injury to two or more persons in any single occurrence, the sum of $600,000, and, in such circumstances, the act prohibits any single person from recovering in excess of $150,000.

To ensure these limitations on damages reflect the effects of inflation since the specific limitations were last increased by the general assembly, the bill increases the damages limitation for any injury to one person in any single occurrence to $478,000. For an injury to two or more persons in any single occurrence, the bill increases the damages limitation to $990,000 and further specifies that, in such circumstances, a single person is precluded from recovering in excess of $478,000.

The bill further provides that the increased damages amounts are:

  • Exclusive of interest awarded; and
  • Adjusted for inflation every four years. The bill requires the attorney general to make this required adjustment on an every four-year basis commencing Jan. 1, 2018, to certify the amount of the adjustment, and to publish the amount of the adjustment on the attorney general’s web site.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

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