Au: st 2, 1976
KEY WORDS: *
To: MGG.. / J
Frc : DBM
Su ject: Sovereign Immunity /-
The scope of sovereign immunity was not altered this pst
le islative session. As far as SWFWMD is concerned, S373.443
still imni*unizes the district and its agents from recovery of damages
ca sed by the partial or total failure of district works (dams,
im Dundm nts, reservoirs, appurtenances) where the theory of action
is Eounded upon approval of the construction or alteration permit,
di: rictlorders relative to maintenance or operation, control or
re 3latiOn of the district works, or measures taken to protect
agi nst failure during emergency.
In cases other than those covered by the previous section,
so reign immunity is governed by SS768.14, 768.151, 768.28,
768.14 Suit by the State or its agencies or subdivisions to
recover damages in tort constitutes a waiver of sovereign immunity
fror a counter-claim for damages in tort resulting from the same
transaction or occurrence.
768,151 Revives causes of action arising during the period
from 7/1/69 to 7/1/70.
768,28 Waiver of sovereign immunity for liability ar torts of
the State, its agencies or subdivisions. The action at law to
recover damages in tort against the State, its agency or sub-
div4sion must arise from injury or loss of property, personal
injury or death "caused by the negligent or wrongful act or
omission of any employee of the agency or subdivision while
acting within the scope of his office or employment under cir-
cumstances in which" a private person would normally be liable.
Punitive damages and interest for the period prior to the judg-
ment are not allowed. An absolute liability limit of $50,000
per person and $100,000 per incident or occurrence applies.
Cla ms above this amount must be presented to the legislature.
Claims must be presented in writing to the appropriate agency
and1 except for claims against municipalities, to the Department
of insurance within 3 years after the claim accrues and the
Department or agency denies the claim in writing. Failure of
Department or agency to finally dispose of the claim within 6
months after filing constitutes a final denial of the claim
for purposes of the 3 year limitation. Attorney's fees are
_ _I ____ i1
limited to 25% of the judgment or settlement. "No officer,
employee, or agent of the State or its subdivisions shall be
held personally liable in tort for any injuries or damages
suffered as a result of any acts, event or omission of action
in the scope of his employment or function absent the showing
of bad faith or malicious purpose, or hi wanton-and-w&iIll l :
disregard of human rights, safety or property. The State shall
pay-any monetary judgment rendered~in a civil action personally":-
against an officer, employee or agent which arises as a result-
of any act, event or omission of action within the scope of his
employment or function. Where the State or subdivision is
insured for damages for any negligent or wrongful act, omission-',
or occurrence for which liability may lie, the limitations '
($50,000/$100,000) do not apply to the extent such policy of
insurance provides coverage.
There is a 4 year statute of limitations for claims against the
State or its agency or subdivision for damages for negligent
or wrongful act or omission pursuant to this Section. There is
also a disclaimer disallowing actions by participants in riots,
awful assemblies, public demonstrations, mob violence, or civil
disobedience where the claim arises out of such listed activity.
768.30 S768.28 took effect 7/1/74 for the Executive Department,
and 1/1/75 for all other agencies and subdivisions of the State,
and applies only to incidences occurring on or after those dates.