Oklahoma Government Tort Claims Act

Excerpts from the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act

Just how much liability insurance does an education employee need? Following are excerpts from the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, which requires school districts to protest school employees.

The Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act (OGTCA) protects school employees from any damages that are caused by the negligent acts of school employees while acting within the scope of their employment.

The OGTCA even prohibits a plaintiff from naming a school employee in any lawsuit that alleges injury resulting from the negligence of a school employee acting within the scope of their employment and when a plaintiff does name an employee as a defendant, the OGTCA requires a school district to provide a defense for any such employee that is named in a lawsuit.

Finally, the OGTCA limits the amount of damages that a local school district is responsible for to no more than $175,000 for any claim arising out of a single act and no more than $1 million for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence or accident.

Following are excerpts from OGTCA that help fully explain your rights

 

Chapter 5 - The Governmental Tort Claims Act
    Section 152 – Definitions

6. "Employee" means any person who is authorized to act in behalf of a political subdivision or the state whether that person is acting on a permanent or temporary basis, with or without being compensated or on a full-time or part-time basis;

7. "Loss" means death or injury to the body or rights of a person or damage to real or personal property or rights therein;

10. "Political subdivision" means:

b. a school district,

11. "Scope of employment" means performance by an employee acting in good faith within the duties of the employee’s office or employment or of tasks lawfully assigned by a competent authority including the operation or use of an agency vehicle or equipment with actual or implied consent of the supervisor of the employee, but shall not include corruption or fraud;

13. "Tort" means a legal wrong, independent of contract, involving violation of a duty imposed by general law or otherwise, resulting in a loss to any person, association or corporation as the proximate result of an act or omission of a political subdivision or the state or an employee acting within the scope of employment.

 

Chapter 5 - The Governmental Tort Claims Act
Section 153 - Liability - Scope - Exemption

A. The state or a political subdivision shall be liable for loss resulting from its torts or the torts of its employees acting within the scope of their employment subject to the limitations and exceptions specified in this act and only where the state or political subdivision, if a private person or entity, would be liable for money damages under the laws of this state. The state or a political subdivision shall not be liable under the provisions of this act for any act or omission of an employee acting outside the scope of his employment.

B. The liability of the state or political subdivision under this act shall be exclusive and in place of all other liability of the state, a political subdivision or employee at common law or otherwise.

 

Chapter 5 - The Governmental Tort Claims Act
Section 154 - Extent of Liability

A. The total liability of the state and its political subdivisions on claims within the scope of The Governmental Tort Claims Act, arising out of an accident or occurrence happening after the effective date of this act, Section 151 et seq. of this title, shall not exceed:

1. Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) for any claim or to any claimant who has more than one claim for loss of property arising out of a single act, accident, or occurrence;

2. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, One Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($125,000.00) to any claimant for a claim for any other loss arising out of a single act, accident, or occurrence. The limit of liability for the state or any city or county with a population of three hundred thousand (300,000) or more according to the latest federal Decennial Census shall not exceed One Hundred Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($175,000.00). (Remaining extraneous provisions omitted).

3. One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence or accident.

 

Chapter 5- The Governmental Tort Claims Act
Section 162 - Constitutional or Statutory Rights, Privileges or Immunities - Violation by Employee - Defending - Indemnification - Right of Recovery - Punitive or Exemplary Damages

A. The state or any political subdivision, subject to procedural requirements imposed by this section, other applicable statute, ordinance, resolution or written policy, shall:

1. Provide a defense for any employee as defined in Section 152 of this title when liability is sought for any violation of property rights or any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States when alleged to have been committed by the employee while acting within the scope of employment;

2. Pay or cause to be paid any judgment entered in the courts of the United States, the State of Oklahoma or any other state against any employee or political subdivision or settlement agreed to by the political subdivision entered against any employee, and any costs or fees, for a violation of property rights or any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States which occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of employment. (Remaining extraneous provisions omitted).

 

Chapter 5 - The Governmental Tort Claims Act
Section 163 - Venue - Parties - Service of Process - Evidence of Insurance

C. Suits instituted pursuant to the provisions of this act shall name as defendant the state or the political subdivision against which liability is sought to be established. In no instance shall an employee of the state or political subdivision acting within the scope of his employment be named as defendant with the exception that suits based on the conduct of resident physicians and interns shall be made against the individual consistent with the provisions of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

 

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