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§ 5-303. Local government liability and defenses

West's Annotated Code of MarylandCourts and Judicial ProceedingsEffective: October 1, 2015

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Courts and Judicial Proceedings
Title 5. Limitations, Prohibited Actions, and Immunities (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 3. Local Government Tort Claims (Refs & Annos)
Effective: October 1, 2015
MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-303
§ 5-303. Local government liability and defenses
Limits on liability
(a)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the liability of a local government may not exceed $400,000 per an individual claim, and $800,000 per total claims that arise from the same occurrence for damages resulting from tortious acts or omissions, or liability arising under subsection (b) of this section and indemnification under subsection (c) of this section.
(2) The limits on liability provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection do not include interest accrued on a judgment.
Governmental or sovereign immunity claims
(b)(1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a local government shall be liable for any judgment against its employee for damages resulting from tortious acts or omissions committed by the employee within the scope of employment with the local government.
(2) A local government may not assert governmental or sovereign immunity to avoid the duty to defend or indemnify an employee established in this subsection.
Punitive damages
(c)(1) A local government may not be liable for punitive damages.
(2)(i) Subject to subsection (a) of this section and except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, a local government may indemnify an employee for a judgment for punitive damages entered against the employee.
(ii) A local government may not indemnify a law enforcement officer for a judgment for punitive damages if the law enforcement officer has been found guilty under § 3-108 of the Public Safety Article as a result of the act or omission giving rise to the judgment, if the act or omission would constitute a felony under the laws of this State.
(3) A local government may not enter into an agreement that requires indemnification for an act or omission of an employee that may result in liability for punitive damages.
Subtitle not a waiver of common law or statutory defense or immunity
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, this subtitle does not waive any common law or statutory defense or immunity in existence as of June 30, 1987, and possessed by an employee of a local government.
Common law or statutory defense or immunity in existence on June 30, 1987
(e) A local government may assert on its own behalf any common law or statutory defense or immunity in existence as of June 30, 1987, and possessed by its employee for whose tortious act or omission the claim against the local government is premised and a local government may only be held liable to the extent that a judgment could have been rendered against such an employee under this subtitle.
Lexington Market, Inc., and Baltimore Public Markets Corporation
(f)(1) Lexington Market, Inc., in Baltimore City, and its employees, may not raise as a defense a limitation on liability described under § 5-406 of this title.
(2) Baltimore Public Markets Corporation, in Baltimore City, and its employees, may not raise as a defense a limitation on liability described under § 5-406 of this title.

Credits

Added as Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 5-403 by Acts 1987, c. 594, § 1, eff. July 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1992, c. 303, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1992. Renumbered as Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 5-303 by Acts 1997, c. 14, § 9, eff. April 8, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, c. 177, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, c. 637, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1999; Acts 2000, c. 556, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, c. 286, § 1, eff. April 20, 2001; Acts 2003, c. 17, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2003; Acts 2007, c. 123, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2007; Acts 2015, c. 131, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2015.

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
1999 Legislation
Acts 1999, c. 177, § 1, in subsec. (c)(2)(ii), added “if the act or omission would constitute a felony under the laws of this state”.
Acts 1999, c. 177, § 2, provides:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall be construed only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any judgment for punitive damages entered before the effective date of this Act.”
Acts 1999, c. 637, § 1, redesignated former subsec. (a) as subsec. (a)(1); in subsec. (a)(1), inserted “Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection,”; and added subsec. (a)(2).
Acts 1999, c. 637, § 2, provides:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall be construed only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any final judgment entered before the effective date of this Act.”
2000 Legislation
Acts 2000, c. 556, added subsec. (f).
Acts 2000, c. 556, § 2, provides:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall be construed only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any cause of action arising before the effective date of this Act.”
2001 Legislation
Acts 2001, c. 286, § 1, in subsec. (a)(1), substituted “or liability arising under subsection (b)” for “including liability arising under subsection (b)”.
Acts 2001, c. 286, §§ 2 and 3, provide:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That it is the intent of the General Assembly that the total liability of a local government, directly or otherwise, in an action arising from tortious acts or omissions, may not exceed the limits on liability stated in § 5-303(a) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article.
“SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall apply to any claim for damages under § 5-303 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article in a case pending on the effective date of this Act and arising from events occurring on or after July 1, 1987.”
2003 Legislation
Acts 2003, c. 17, § 1, in subsec. (c)(2)(ii), substituted “§ 3-108 of the Public Safety Article” for “Article 27, § 731 of the Code”.
2007 Legislation
Acts 2007, c. 123, § 1, in subsec. (f) designated the existing text as (f)(1) and added (2).
Acts 2007, c. 123, § 2, provides:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall be construed to apply only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any cause of action arising before the effective date of this Act.”
2015 Legislation
Acts 2015, c. 131, § 1, in para. (a)(1), substituted “may not exceed $400,000 per an individual claim, and $800,000 per total claims” for “may not exceed $200,000 per an individual claim, and $500,000 per total claims”
Acts 2015, c. 131, § 2, provides:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall be construed to apply only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any cause of action arising before the effective date of this Act.”
MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-303, MD CTS & JUD PRO § 5-303
Current through all legislation from the 2017 Regular Session of the General Assembly
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