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§ 5-303. Local government liability and defenses

West's Annotated Code of MarylandCourts and Judicial ProceedingsEffective: October 1, 2023

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, 2023
MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-303
§ 5-303. Local government liability and defenses
Limits on liability
(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) 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.
(3) If the liability of a local government arises from intentional tortious acts or omissions or a violation of a constitutional right committed by a law enforcement officer, the following limits on liability apply:
(i) Subject to item (ii) of this paragraph, the combined award for both economic and noneconomic damages may not exceed a total of $890,000 for all claims arising out of the same incident or occurrence, regardless of the number of claimants or beneficiaries who share in the award; and
(ii) In a wrongful death action in which there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, an award for noneconomic damages may not exceed 150% of the limitation established under item (i) of this paragraph, regardless of the number of claimants or beneficiaries who share in the award.
(4) If the liability of a local government arises from a claim of sexual abuse, as defined in § 5-117 of this title, the liability may not exceed $890,000 to a single claimant for injuries arising from an incident or occurrence.
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; Acts 2021, c. 59, § 3, eff. July 1, 2022; Acts 2023, c. 5, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2023; Acts 2023, c. 6, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2023.
MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-303, MD CTS & JUD PRO § 5-303
Current with all legislation from the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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