Going into the Wednesday June 2 Council meeting after this paper’s press time, the City of Cottage Grove Common Council was set to act so as to NOT WAIVE statutory tort liability limits for …
Going into the Wednesday June 2 Council meeting after this paper’s press time, the City of Cottage Grove Common Council was set to act so as to NOT WAIVE statutory tort liability limits for potential legal liability by the city, in which case the most that a single claimant will be able to recover from local taxpayers until at least next year (at which point the waiver process will repeat itself) would be $500,000, as opposed to a cool $2 million.
Limit claim liability on the municipality’s part, and keep resident’s taxes low—at least from a certain point of view. So what’s a tort anyway?
If you’re author John Grisham, it’s the plot key of a (presumably) lucrative 482-page novel from 2003 called The King of Torts, that moreover debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. If you’re just about anyone else not so law savvy or into Grisham’s novels, ‘tort’ could be Greek. Here’s a short rundown.
A “tort,” as defined at the website of the Cornell Law School at law.cornell.edu, “is an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.” Furthermore, and in the context of a tort, the word ‘injury,’ “describes that invasion of any legal right, whereas ‘harm’ describes a loss or detriment in fact that an individual suffers.” In the case of private citizens, torts can and have been pursued where criminal prosecution fails to convict. So what’s the Minnesota Tort Law for states. In partial summary?
That process is laid out in detail in State Statute 3.736 Tort Claims Act, having taken Chapter 466 to outline definitions and such.
“The state will pay compensation for injury to or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by an act or omission of an employee of the state while acting within the scope of office or employment or a peace officer who is not acting on behalf of a private employer and who is acting in good faith under section 629.40, subdivision 4, under circumstances where the state, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant, whether arising out of a governmental or proprietary function,” the opening says in ‘general rule.’ However, “nothing in this section waives the defense of judicial, quasi-judicial, or legislative immunity except to the extent provided in subdivision 8.” A check of the stated provision relates to liability insurance, as follows: “A state agency, including an entity defined as a part of the state in section 3.732, subdivision 1, clause (1), may procure insurance against liability of the agency and its employees for damages resulting from the torts of the agency and its employees,” subdivision 8 of the Tort Claims law states in part.
We’ll leave definitions to those with the potential for liability, or else legal interest. The Statute of Limitations for torts in Minnesota, meanwhile, is to be found in Chapter 541 of the State Statutes. But if you get bored with the law or another subject for actual practice, meanwhile, it may be time to become an author. After all, it’s worked for others—no tort needed to achieve that fortune, just honest labor.