|BILL AS INTRODUCED||2007-2008|
Introduced by Senator Ayer of Addison District and Senator Cummings of Washington District
Subject: Home providers; individuals with disabilities; legal liability; indemnification
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require the state to indemnify the providers of home services for individuals with disabilities for claims brought against the provider arising from actions of the individual with a disability, and to require the attorney general’s office to provide a legal defense for such claims.
AN ACT RELATING TO PROVIDING DEFENSE SERVICES AND INDEMNIFICATION FOR THE PROVIDERS OF HOME SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 12 V.S.A. § 5606 is amended to read:
§ 5606. INDEMNIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES AND PROVIDERS OF
HOME SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH
(a) In any action defended by the attorney general or the attorney general’s designee in which a judgment is rendered against an employee of the state for acts or omissions within the scope of his or her employment, or a settlement requires payment by such a person, and the right of action is based upon Title 42, United States Code, section 1983, or under a similar federal statute where state law is incapable of establishing employee immunity, the state shall indemnify the employee for the amount of the employee’s liability.
(b) The maximum liability of the state under this section shall be $250,000.00 to any one person and the maximum aggregate liability shall be $1,000,000.00 to all persons arising out of each occurrence.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, no indemnification shall be paid:
(1) for a judgment or settlement which results from gross negligence or willful misconduct; or
(2) for a settlement not approved by the attorney general or the attorney general’s designee; or
(3) if the employee did not ensure that the attorney general had timely notice of the action or the employee did not cooperate in the defense of the action.
(d) Upon certification by the attorney general to the commissioner of finance and management that an employee is eligible for indemnification under this section, the commissioner shall issue a warrant for payment against funds available to the employee’s department or agency. If the attorney general believes there is reasonable doubt about whether the officer or employee is eligible for indemnification, the attorney general shall refer the matter to the labor relations board which may decide the matter. The decision of the board shall not be subject to appeal.
(e) The attorney general’s office shall defend and the state shall indemnify the provider of home services for an individual or individuals with a developmental disability civil liability claim brought against such a provider for claims that arise from actions of the individual with the disability while in the custody of that provider.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street