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The original item was published from 2/16/2021 3:58:00 PM to 3/17/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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MML eBulletin

Posted on: February 16, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Bills Heard to Increase the Caps in Tort Claims

legsession2021photo.statehouse.

HB 721/SB 602 address the issue of caps on damages awarded to prevailing plaintiffs in suits against local governments. The bills would raise the caps for all causes of action by 50%. These caps were just raised through legislation in 2015. In addition, for claims against police officers the bills would eliminate the cap on economic damages (medical bills, lost wages) and significantly increase the cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering). These bills received hearings in both the House and Senate over the past two weeks.

MML has historically opposed bills to raise the caps in claims against local governments as the caps serve as a balance between allowing recovery for a plaintiff and protecting the taxpayers' dollar. This year is no different; MML opposed the bills along with the Maryland Association of Counties and the Local Government Insurance Trust. The police-specific aspect is new this year and has additional significance due to the spotlight on police reform generally, which may result in further discussions with the bill's the sponsors.

For more information please contact Bill Jorch, billj@mdmunicipal.org

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