TORT LIABILITY PAYMENT PROCEDURE - 8494
(Revised and renumbered from 8712)
Tort liability can occur as a result of intentional acts, a negligent act, and a failure to act when an individual or entity had a duty to do so. Tort liability can also occur when there is a violation of statutes or laws.
This section describes the procedures related to tort liability arising from other than motor vehicles. Tort liability payment procedures related to motor vehicle insurance, accidents, and suits are described in SAM sections 2440-2464.
Government Code sections 965-965.9 provide broad guidelines for administering and paying tort liability claims against the state.
In general, claims against the State of California are presented to the Department of General Services (DGS) and, if approved, are paid by the Department of Justice (DOJ). If a claim is not approved, the claimant may bring court action against the state agency/department involved or its officers or employees to obtain settlement. If legal action occurs, the head of the state agency/department concerned, upon recommendation of the Attorney General or other attorney authorized to represent the state, may settle, adjust, or compromise the claim under provisions of Government Code section 948 and SAM section 6472. The claim will then be paid by the DOJ.
Judgments and/or costs of suits are not to be paid out of feeder funds. A specific amount is appropriated from the General Fund to be available to the DOJ for agencies/departments supported from that fund. Unspecified amounts are also appropriated to each special fund sufficient for agencies/departments supported by those funds.
The appropriation is made to the Department of Finance for expenditure or allocation at its discretion. Accordingly, it has established the following concerning tort liability payments:
The DOJ pays claims approved by the DGS, and pursuant to Government Code section 948, the DOJ also pays claims that have been denied by the DGS but have been settled by the Attorney General and approved by the agency/department. The DOJ is authorized to pay claims and judgments up to $35,000 in principal amounts without Finance approval.
Finance approval is required for all claims that exceed $35,000 in the principal amount which have been approved by the DGS, claims settled pursuant to Government Code section 965.65, or judgments awarded by the courts. The $35,000 limitation applies to the principal only. The court awarded interest and court costs, if any, are additional.
Each approved settlement or judgment whose principal exceeds $70,000 shall be paid from special appropriation legislation.
The DOJ shall pay claims and judgments under the following conditions for all special fund agencies/departments, except the Department of Transportation.
- Up to $50,000 in principal amount for settlements made by the DGS. Advance approval is given by Finance. See Government Code section 965.1
- Settlements under Government Code section 948 up to $35,000 in principal amount. Advance approval is given by Finance.
- Finance approval will be required for each settlement in excess of $35,000 in principal amount. Prior to Finance approval, the DOJ will have obtained assurance from the agency/department that funds are available.
- Each approved settlement or judgment whose principal exceeds $70,000 shall be paid from special appropriation legislation.
Each special fund agency/department shall forward to the DOJ written authorization to pay tort liability claims. These authorizations shall be effective until revoked. They should be submitted in duplicate and should be in the following format:
AUTHORIZATION TO PAY TORT LIABILITY CLAIMS
AGAINST SPECIAL FUND
The (Agency, Department, Board or Commission) hereby authorizes the Attorney General to file a claim schedule with the State Controller requesting payment of all claims approved by the Department of General Services arising under Chapter 1681,Statutes of 1963 and of all settlements, adjustments, compromises of any pending actions concluded pursuant to Government Code section 948, or judgments pertaining to the activities of said agency/department and payable from the __________________ Fund; provided that prior to the filing of claims schedules the (Agency, Department, Board or Commission) will certify that funds are available.
(Agency/department Head) (Date)
The DOJ shall forward the claim schedule to the SCO and retain an extra copy in a holding file. Upon receipt of the Notice of Claim Paid, the DOJ will send a copy of the claim, along with a copy of the Notice of Claim Paid, to the agency/department involved as notification that a claim has been filed and paid.
The DOJ will retain one copy of the authorization and forward the second to the SCO.The DOJ shall forward the claim schedule to the SCO and retain an extra copy in a holding file. Upon receipt of the Notice of Claim Paid, the DOJ will forward a copy of the claim schedule, along with a copy of the Notice of Claim Paid, to the agency/department involved as notification that a claim has been filed and paid.
No Revisions for this item.