The Utah State Legislature has introduced a bill in Utah's 2017 General Session that will impact state and local governments.
House Bill 399, Governmental Immunity Amendments, seeks to improve governmental immunity in some areas, and expand the rights of claimants in other circumstances. The long title of the bill provides that House Bill 399:
provides that governmental immunity is preserved for an injury arising out of or in connection with, or resulting from, certain conduct or conditions even if immunity would otherwise be waived;
enacts language specifying the relationship between an injury and certain conduct or conditions in determining whether immunity applies;
allows a claimant to begin an action after the applicable time limit if a previous timely action failed or was dismissed, other than on the merits, and other conditions are met; and
modifies language relating to a plaintiff's undertaking in an action against a governmental entity.
If you or someone you know is a state or municipal agent or employee, give our municipal law attorneys a call to see how these changes affect your liability. The basic underpinnings of governmental immunity continue to apply (which is to say that government actors cannot be sued personally for actions they took as part of their government position). But these changes will impact when claimants can bring lawsuits, and in what circumstances state or municipal agents can defend themselves.
Click here to view the bill in its entirety.