2019 Wyoming Statutes
Title 1 - Code of Civil Procedure
Chapter 39 - Governmental Claims
Section 1-39-118 - Maximum Liability; Insurance Authorized.

Universal Citation: WY Stat § 1-39-118 (2019)

1-39-118. Maximum liability; insurance authorized.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, in any action under this act, the liability of the governmental entity, including a public employee while acting within the scope of his duties, shall not exceed:

(i) The sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) to any claimant for any number of claims arising out of a single transaction or occurrence; or

(ii) The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) for all claims of all claimants arising out of a single transaction or occurrence.

(b) A governmental entity is authorized to purchase liability insurance coverage covering any acts or risks including all or any portion of the risks provided under this act. Purchase of liability insurance coverage shall extend the governmental entity's liability as follows:

(i) If a governmental entity has insurance coverage either exceeding the limits of liability as stated in this section or covering liability which is not authorized by this act, the governmental entity's liability is extended to the coverage;

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (i) of this subsection, if a governmental entity acquires coverage in an amount greater than the limits specified in this section for the purpose of protecting itself against potential losses under a federal law and if the purpose of the coverage is stated as a part of or by an amendment to the insurance policy, the increased limits shall be applicable only to claims brought under the federal law.

(c) In addition to the procurement of insurance under subsection (b) of this section a local governmental entity may:

(i) Establish a self-insurance fund against the liability of the governmental entity and its officers and employees;

(ii) Join with other governmental entities, by joint powers agreements under W.S. 16-1-102 through 16-1-108, or otherwise, to pool funds and establish a self-insurance fund or jointly purchase insurance coverage. Pooled funds may be deposited with the state treasurer for disbursement as participating governmental entities direct or may be deposited as provided by the terms of the joint powers agreement;

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 142, § 2.

(iv) Pay the judgment or settlement, with interest thereon, in not to exceed ten (10) annual installments in cases of undue hardship and levy not to exceed one (1) mill per year on the assessed value of the governmental entity for such purpose;

(v) Enter into contracts with the general services division of the department of administration and information for the payment of assessments by the local government in such amounts as determined by the division to be sufficient, on an actuarially sound basis, to cover:

(A) The potential liability, or any portion of potential liability, of the local government and its public employees as provided by this act;

(B) Costs of administration;

(C) Payment by the division of claims against the local government and its public employees acting within the scope of their duties which have been settled or reduced to final judgment.

(d) No judgment against a governmental entity shall include an award for exemplary or punitive damages, for interest prior to judgments or for attorney's fees.

(e) Except as hereafter provided, no judgment authorized by this act may be enforced by execution or attachment of property of a governmental entity but shall be paid only as authorized by this section and W.S. 1-39-113. A judgment authorized by this act may be enforced by execution or attachment of the property of a governmental entity to the extent coverage of the liability has not been obtained under subsection (b) or (c) of this section or W.S. 1-39-115 unless the judgment is otherwise satisfied by the governmental entity.

(f) The liability imposed by W.S. 1-39-105 through 1-39-112 may include liability for property damage in an amount less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) in cases in which no personal injury or death resulted, but only under the following conditions:

(i) A property damage claim may be paid at the discretion of the governmental entity:

(A) In the case of the state, the director of the department of administration and information or an employee designated in writing by the director shall decide whether the claim will be paid;

(B) In the case of a local governmental entity, the local governmental entity shall appoint an official who shall decide whether the claim will be paid.

(ii) The decision of whether the property damage claim will be paid shall be based on finding that:

(A) The act was performed by an employee of the state or the local governmental entity;

(B) The act occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his employment duties;

(C) The employee acted negligently by breaching a duty or by failing to act like a reasonable person; and

(D) The negligent act proximately caused the property damage at issue.

(iii) Property damage claims against the state shall be paid from the self-insurance account created by W.S. 1-41-103 except that claims against the department of transportation may be paid from nonrestricted highway funds. Property damage claims against a local governmental entity shall be paid only to the extent the local governing body has appropriated monies for that purpose. There is no obligation on the state legislature or the local governing body to make any appropriation for payment of property damage claims;

(iv) If the director of the department of administration and information or the local government official determines there may be insufficient monies to pay all of the claims made during the year, then the director or official may delay paying the claims until close of the year at which time available monies shall be prorated among those entitled to payment at an amount less than one hundred percent (100%);

(v) The decisions of the director of the department of administration and information or of the local government official are final and are not subject to administrative or judicial review.

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