Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 537
Torts and Actions for Damages
Section 537.610

August 28, 2013


Liability insurance for tort claims may be purchased by whom--limitation on waiver of immunity--maximum amount payable for claims out of single occurrence--exception--apportionment of settlements--inflation--penalties.

537.610. 1. The commissioner of administration, through the purchasing division, and the governing body of each political subdivision of this state, notwithstanding any other provision of law, may purchase liability insurance for tort claims, made against the state or the political subdivision, but the maximum amount of such coverage shall not exceed two million dollars for all claims arising out of a single occurrence and shall not exceed three hundred thousand dollars for any one person in a single accident or occurrence, except for those claims governed by the provisions of the Missouri workers' compensation law, chapter 287, and no amount in excess of the above limits shall be awarded or settled upon. Sovereign immunity for the state of Missouri and its political subdivisions is waived only to the maximum amount of and only for the purposes covered by such policy of insurance purchased pursuant to the provisions of this section and in such amount and for such purposes provided in any self-insurance plan duly adopted by the governing body of any political subdivision of the state.

2. The liability of the state and its public entities on claims within the scope of sections 537.600 to 537.650, shall not exceed two million dollars for all claims arising out of a single accident or occurrence and shall not exceed three hundred thousand dollars for any one person in a single accident or occurrence, except for those claims governed by the provisions of the Missouri workers' compensation law, chapter 287.

3. No award for damages on any claim against a public entity within the scope of sections 537.600 to 537.650, shall include punitive or exemplary damages.

4. If the amount awarded to or settled upon multiple claimants exceeds two million dollars, any party may apply to any circuit court to apportion to each claimant his proper share of the total amount limited by subsection 1 of this section. The share apportioned each claimant shall be in the proportion that the ratio of the award or settlement made to him bears to the aggregate awards and settlements for all claims arising out of the accident or occurrence, but the share shall not exceed three hundred thousand dollars.

5. The limitation on awards for liability provided for in this section shall be increased or decreased on an annual basis effective January first of each year in accordance with the Implicit Price Deflator for Personal Consumption Expenditures as published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce. The current value of the limitation shall be calculated by the director of the department of insurance, financial institutions and professional registration, who shall furnish that value to the secretary of state, who shall publish such value in the Missouri Register as soon after each January first as practicable, but it shall otherwise be exempt from the provisions of section 536.021.

6. Any claim filed against any public entity under this section shall be subject to the penalties provided by supreme court rule 55.03, or any successor rule.

(L. 1978 H.B. 1650 2, A.L. 1989 H.B. 161, A.L. 1999 S.B. 295 & 46, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Liability of state and public entities, increases to be effective on certain causes of actions, when, 537.615

(2000) Statutory cap does not apply to postjudgment interest on damage awards against the State. Benoit v. Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission, 33 S.W.3d 663 (Mo.App.S.D.).


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