Bill Text: CA AB965 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Department of Transportation: civil liability.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-04-20 - In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author. [AB965 Detail]

Download: California-2017-AB965-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 965


Introduced by Assembly Member Kiley

February 16, 2017


An act to add Section 92.1 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 965, as amended, Kiley. Department of Transportation: civil liability.

(1) Existing

Existing law establishes the Department of Transportation with various powers and duties and provides that the department has full possession and control of all state highways and all property and rights in property acquired for state highway purposes.

Existing law governs the tort liability and immunity of, and claims and actions against, public entities and their officers and employees. A public entity, as defined, is not liable for an injury, except as otherwise provided by statute, whether the injury arises out of an act or omission of the public entity or a public employee or any other person.

This bill would provide that, in an action for injury against the department, the amount of damages for noneconomic losses shall not exceed $250,000 per individual or $500,000 per occurrence.

(2) Existing

Existing law generally provides that an obligation imposed upon several persons, or a right created in favor of several persons, is presumed to be joint, and not several. However, under existing law, the liability of each defendant for noneconomic damages is several only and not joint in any action for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death, based upon principles of comparative fault. Existing law provides that each defendant in those actions shall be liable only for the amount of noneconomic damages allocated to that defendant in direct proportion to that defendant’s percentage of fault, and requires a separate judgment to be rendered against that defendant for that amount.
This bill would provide that, in an action against the department for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death, based upon principles of comparative fault, the liability of the department for economic damages shall be several only and shall not be joint. The bill would further provide that the department shall be liable in those actions only for the amount of economic damages allocated to it in direct proportion to its percentage of fault, and would require a separate judgment to be rendered against the department for that amount.
The bill would also require the department to annually identify savings achieved through the implementation of the bill. The bill would require the department to propose, from the identified savings, an appropriation to be included in the annual Budget Act for expenditure on highway maintenance, operation, rehabilitation, and improvement.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 92.1 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:
92.1.

(a)Notwithstanding any other law, in an action for injury against the department, the amount of noneconomic damages shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) per individual or five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) per occurrence.

(b)

92.1.
 (a) In an action against the department for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death, based upon principles of comparative fault, the liability of the department for economic damages shall be several only and shall not be joint. The department shall be liable only for the amount of economic damages allocated to the department in direct proportion to the department’s percentage of fault, and a separate judgment shall be rendered against the department for that amount.

(c)

(b) The department shall annually identify savings achieved through implementation of this section. The department, through the annual budget process, shall propose, from the identified savings, an appropriation to be included in the annual Budget Act for expenditure on highway maintenance, operation, rehabilitation, and improvement.

(d)

(c) For purposes of this section, the terms “economic damages” and “noneconomic damages” shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 1431.2 of the Civil Code.

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