UPDATE! A Big Win as the Georgia Court of Appeals Sides with CKF’s Clients and Affirms College Park’s Insurance Coverage Applies Despite Statutory Caps
On July 31, 2020, we posted about a special investigation by WSB-TV that involved a pending appeal by the City of College Park in one of our cases concerning a Georgia law that limits recoveries for victims of governmental negligence, specifically as it relates to motor-vehicle collisions.
Under a 2010 Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 36-92-2, immunity typically provided to governmental entities is waived up to certain limits as mandated by the statute. Relying on the statutory limits as specifically stated in the statute and despite purchasing additional insurance coverage well in excess of those stated limits, the City of College Park and its insurer, Atlantic Specialty in its appeal argued that its limits for the city’s and the police officer’s negligence in causing the crash that killed Dorothy Wright and her two grandchildren, are limited to $500,000 for an individual or $700,000 for a crash involving two or more victims. However, and as CKF argued, the statute also provides that the limits “shall be increased” to the extent that “the local government entity purchases commercial liability insurance in an amount in excess” of the limits set forth in the statute.
On Monday, November 2, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled in our clients’ favor and held that sovereign immunity does not insulate the insurer for College Park, holding that the statutory limits of $700,000 were waived since College Park purchased insurance with coverages of $5 million. See the order and Daily Report article regarding the recent ruling.
This is a huge win for our clients as well as all those who are victims of the negligence of governmental entities as a result of vehicle accidents. Tremendous victory by CKF’s Alwyn Fredericks and Wendy Huray!