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Minnesota Session Laws - 1997, Regular Session

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 210-S.F.No. 1114 
                  An act relating to claims against governmental units; 
                  increasing tort liability limits; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1996, sections 3.736, subdivision 4; and 
                  466.04, subdivisions 1 and 3; proposing coding for new 
                  law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 6. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 3.736, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [LIMITS.] The total liability of the state and 
        its employees acting within the scope of their employment on any 
        tort claim shall not exceed: 
           (a) $200,000 $300,000 when the claim is one for death by 
        wrongful act or omission and $200,000 $300,000 to any claimant 
        in any other case; 
           (b) $600,000 $750,000 for any number of claims arising out 
        of a single occurrence, for claims arising on or after January 
        1, 1998, and before January 1, 2000; or 
           (c) $1,000,000 for any number of claims arising out of a 
        single occurrence, for claims arising on or after January 1, 
        2000. 
           If the amount awarded to or settled upon multiple claimants 
        exceeds $600,000 the applicable limit under clause (b) or (c), 
        any party may apply to the district court to apportion to each 
        claimant a proper share of the $600,000 amount available under 
        the applicable limit under clause (b) or (c).  The share 
        apportioned to each claimant shall be in the proportion that the 
        ratio of the award or settlement bears to the aggregate awards 
        and settlements for all claims arising out of the occurrence. 
           The limitation imposed by this subdivision on individual 
        claimants includes damages claimed for loss of services or loss 
        of support arising out of the same tort. 
           Sec. 2.  [6.77] [LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES FOR LEGAL 
        COSTS.] 
           (a) On or before January 1, 1998, and each year thereafter, 
        the state auditor shall collect from all counties, cities of the 
        first, second, and third class, and school districts with 
        enrollment exceeding 100 students, information as to expenditure 
        of public funds for legal services incurred to defend the entity 
        from lawsuits and amounts paid in voluntary settlements or 
        judgments in any lawsuit.  The data must include costs incurred 
        for any fees paid as retainers for outside counsel.  Fees paid 
        for attorneys who perform work on criminal or prosecutorial 
        matters must be reported.  
           (b) The state auditor shall make and file, annually, in the 
        state auditor's office a summary report of the information 
        collected.  Copies of the report may be made and distributed to 
        interested persons and governmental units. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 466.04, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [LIMITS; PUNITIVE DAMAGES.] (a) Liability 
        of any municipality on any claim within the scope of sections 
        466.01 to 466.15 shall not exceed:  
           (1) $200,000 $300,000 when the claim is one for death by 
        wrongful act or omission and $200,000 $300,000 to any claimant 
        in any other case; 
           (2) $600,000 $750,000 for any number of claims arising out 
        of a single occurrence, for claims arising on or after January 
        1, 1998, and before January 1, 2000; or 
           (3) $1,000,000 for any number of claims arising out of a 
        single occurrence, for claims arising on or after January 1, 
        2000; or 
           (4) twice the limits provided in clauses (1) and (2) to (3) 
        when the claim arises out of the release or threatened release 
        of a hazardous substance, whether the claim is brought under 
        sections 115B.01 to 115B.15 or under any other law.  
           (b) No award for damages on any such claim shall include 
        punitive damages. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 466.04, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [DISPOSITION OF MULTIPLE CLAIMS.] Where the 
        amount awarded to or settled upon multiple claimants exceeds 
        $600,000 the applicable limit under subdivision 1, paragraph 
        (a), clauses (2) to (4), any party may apply to any district 
        court to apportion to each claimant a proper share of the total 
        amount limited by subdivision 1.  The share apportioned each 
        claimant shall be in the proportion that the ratio of the award 
        or settlement made to each bears to the aggregate awards and 
        settlements for all claims arising out of the occurrence. 
           Sec. 5.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1, 3, and 4 are effective January 1, 1998, for 
        claims arising from acts or omissions taking place on or after 
        that date. 
           Presented to the governor May 20, 1997 
           Became law without the governor's signature May 22, 1997

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