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Third Substitute S.B. 35

Representative John E. Swallow proposes to substitute the following bill:


             1     
GOVERNMENT TORT LIABILITY AMENDMENTS

             2     
2000 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Sponsor: Howard A. Stephenson

             5      Lyle W. Hillyard
             6      Terry R. Spencer
John L. Valentine
Ed P. Mayne


             7      AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS IN GENERAL; MODIFYING PROVISIONS TO
             8      THE GOVERNMENT'S WAIVERS OF IMMUNITY; CHANGING THE TIME PERIOD FOR
             9      FILING CLAIMS; MODIFYING THE DAMAGE CAPS; ALLOWING A GOVERNMENT
             10      ENTITY TO SEEK APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR MINOR
             11      CLAIMANTS; MODIFYING THE TIME FOR CLAIMS; INCREASING THE AMOUNT
             12      REQUIRED FOR UNDERTAKINGS; MODIFYING A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
             13      REQUIREMENT; MAKING TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS; PROVIDING A TRANSITIONAL
             14      CLAUSE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
             15      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             16      AMENDS:
             17          63-30-11, as last amended by Chapter 164, Laws of Utah 1998
             18          63-30-19, as enacted by Chapter 139, Laws of Utah 1965
             19          63-30-34, as last amended by Chapter 76, Laws of Utah 1991
             20          78-12-28, as last amended by Chapter 153, Laws of Utah 1997
             21      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             22          Section 1. Section 63-30-11 is amended to read:
             23           63-30-11. Claim for injury -- Notice -- Contents -- Service -- Legal disability.
             24          (1) A claim arises when the statute of limitations that would apply if the claim were
             25      against a private person begins to run.


             26          (2) Any person having a claim for injury against a governmental entity, or against its
             27      employee for an act or omission occurring during the performance of the employee's duties, within
             28      the scope of employment, or under color of authority shall file a written notice of claim with the
             29      entity before maintaining an action, regardless of whether or not the function giving rise to the
             30      claim is characterized as governmental.
             31          (3) (a) The notice of claim shall set forth:
             32          (i) a brief statement of the facts;
             33          (ii) the nature of the claim asserted; and
             34          (iii) the damages incurred by the claimant so far as they are known.
             35          (b) The notice of claim shall be:
             36          (i) signed by the person making the claim or that person's agent, attorney, parent, or legal
             37      guardian; and
             38          (ii) directed and delivered to:
             39          (A) the city or town recorder, when the claim is against an incorporated city or town;
             40          (B) the county clerk, when the claim is against a county;
             41          (C) the superintendent or business administrator of the board, when the claim is against
             42      a school district or board of education;
             43          (D) the president or secretary of the board, when the claim is against a special district;
             44          (E) the attorney general, when the claim is against the State of Utah; or
             45          (F) a member of the governing board, the executive director, or executive secretary, when
             46      the claim is against any other public board, commission, or body.
             47          (4) (a) If the claimant is under the age of majority, or mentally incompetent and without
             48      a legal guardian at the time the claim arises, the claimant may apply to the court to extend the time
             49      for service of notice of claim.
             50          (b) (i) After hearing and notice to the governmental entity, the court may extend the time
             51      for service of notice of claim.
             52          (ii) The court may not grant an extension that exceeds the applicable statute of limitations.
             53          (c) In determining whether or not to grant an extension, the court shall consider whether
             54      the delay in serving the notice of claim will substantially prejudice the governmental entity in
             55      maintaining its defense on the merits.
             56          (d) (i) If an injury that may reasonably be expected to result in a claim against a


             57      governmental entity is sustained by a potential claimant described in Subsection (4)(a), that
             58      government entity may file a request with the court for the appointment of a guardian ad litem for
             59      the potential claimant.
             60          (ii) If a guardian ad litem is appointed under this Subsection (4)(d), the time for filing a
             61      claim under Sections 63-30-12 and 63-30-13 begins when the order appointing the guardian is
             62      issued.
             63          Section 2. Section 63-30-19 is amended to read:
             64           63-30-19. Undertaking required of plaintiff in action.
             65          At the time of filing the action the plaintiff shall file an undertaking in a sum fixed by the
             66      court, but in no case less than the sum of [$300] $600, conditioned upon payment by the plaintiff
             67      of taxable costs incurred by the governmental entity in the action if the plaintiff fails to prosecute
             68      the action or fails to recover judgment.
             69          Section 3. Section 63-30-34 is amended to read:
             70           63-30-34. Limitation of judgments against governmental entity or employee --
             71      Insurance coverage exception.
             72          (1) (a) Except as provided in [Subsection] Subsections (2) and (3), if a judgment for
             73      damages for personal injury against a governmental entity, or an employee whom a governmental
             74      entity has a duty to indemnify, exceeds [$250,000] $500,000 for one person in any one occurrence,
             75      or [$500,000] $1,000,000 for two or more persons in any one occurrence, the court shall reduce
             76      the judgment to that amount.
             77          (b) A court may not award judgment of more than [$250,000] $500,000 for injury or death
             78      to one person regardless of whether or not the function giving rise to the injury is characterized as
             79      governmental.
             80          (c) Except as provided in Subsection (2), if a judgment for property damage against a
             81      governmental entity, or an employee whom a governmental entity has a duty to indemnify, exceeds
             82      [$100,000] $200,000 in any one occurrence, the court shall reduce the judgment to that amount,
             83      regardless of whether or not the function giving rise to the damage is characterized as
             84      governmental.
             85          (2) The damage limits established in this section do not apply to damages awarded as
             86      compensation when a governmental entity has taken or damaged private property for public use
             87      without just compensation.


             88          (3) The limitations of judgments established in Subsection (1) shall be adjusted according
             89      to the methodology set forth in Subsection (4).
             90          (4) (a) Each year, the Risk Manager shall:
             91          (i) calculate the consumer price index as provided in Sections 1(f)(4) and 1(f)(5), Internal
             92      Revenue Code;
             93          (ii) calculate the increase or decrease in the limitation of judgment amounts established
             94      in this section as a percentage equal to the percentage difference between the consumer price index
             95      for the preceding calendar year and the consumer price index for calendar year 1999; and
             96          (iii) after making an increase or decrease under Subsection (3)(a)(ii), round up the
             97      limitation of judgment amounts established in Subsection (1) to the nearest $100.
             98          (b) Each even numbered year, the Risk Manager shall make rules, which become effective
             99      no later than July 1, that establish the new limitation of judgment amounts.
             100          (c) Adjustments made by the risk manager to the limitation of judgment amounts
             101      established by this section have prospective effect only from the date the rules establishing the new
             102      limitation of judgment take effect and those adjusted limitations of judgment apply only to claims
             103      for injuries or losses that occur after the effective date of the rules that establish those new
             104      limitations of judgement.
             105          Section 4. Section 78-12-28 is amended to read:
             106           78-12-28. Within two years.
             107          An action may be brought within two years:
             108          (1) against a marshal, sheriff, constable, or other officer for liability incurred by the doing
             109      of an act in his official capacity, and by virtue of his office, or by the omission of an official duty,
             110      including the nonpayment of money collected upon an execution;
             111          (2) for recovery of damages for a death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another;
             112      [or]
             113          (3) in causes of action against the state and its employees, for injury to the personal rights
             114      of another if not otherwise provided by state or federal law[.]; or
             115          (4) in causes of action against a political subdivision of the state and its employees, for
             116      injury to the personal rights of another arising after May 1, 2000, if not otherwise provided by state
             117      or federal law.
             118          Section 5. Transitional clause.


             119          This act has prospective effect only and any changes to the law caused by the amendments
             120      to Section 78-12-28 do not apply to any claims based upon injuries or losses that occurred before
             121      May 1, 2000, and any changes to the law caused by other sections amended by this act do not apply
             122      to any claims based upon injuries or losses that occurred before July 1, 2001.
             123          Section 6. Effective date.
             124          This act takes effect on July 1, 2001, except that Section 78-12-28 takes effect May 1,
             125      2000 .


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