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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online does not include the actions of the 2024 session of the General Assembly. We expect them to be updated by November 1st.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 12 : Court Procedure

Chapter 189 : Tort Claims Against the State

(Cite as: 12 V.S.A. § 5601)
  • § 5601. Liability of State

    (a) The State of Vermont shall be liable for injury to persons or property or loss of life caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the State while acting within the scope of employment, under the same circumstances, in the same manner, and to the same extent as a private person would be liable to the claimant except that the claimant shall not have the right to levy execution on any property of the State to satisfy any judgment. The Superior Courts of the State shall have exclusive jurisdiction of any actions brought hereunder.

    (b) Effective July 1, 2011, the maximum liability of the State under this section shall be $500,000.00 to any one person and the maximum aggregate liability shall be $2,000,000.00 to all persons arising out of each occurrence.

    (c) If the claimant is not a resident of the State of Vermont, the claimant may bring suit in any Superior Court. The agent for the service of process shall be the Attorney General or the Attorney General’s duly authorized representative.

    (d) This chapter does not allow any insurance carrier to bring action or recover against the State for any payments made as a result of any private insurance contract between the carrier and a State employee.

    (e) This section shall not apply to:

    (1) Any claim based upon an act or omission of an employee of the State exercising due care, in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether or not such statute or regulation is valid, or based upon the exercise or performance or failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a State agency or an employee of the State, whether or not the discretion involved is abused.

    (2) Any claim arising in respect to the assessment or collection of any tax or customs duty, or the levy upon or detention of any goods or merchandise by any law enforcement officer.

    (3) Any claim for damages caused by the impositions of a quarantine by the State.

    (4) Any claim for damages caused by the fiscal operations of any State officer or department.

    (5) Any claim arising out of activities of the National Guard performed pursuant to 32 U.S.C. § 316, 502, 503, 504, 505, or 709, or pursuant to 20 V.S.A. §§ 366, 601, and 602.

    (6) Any claim arising out of alleged assault, battery, abuse of process, misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, or interference with contractual rights.

    (7) Any claim for which a remedy is provided or which is governed specifically by other statutory enactment.

    (8) Any claim arising from the selection of or purposeful deviation from a particular set of standards for the planning and design of highways.

    (f) The limitations in subsection (e) of this section do not apply to claims against the State of Vermont to the extent that there exists coverage under a policy of liability insurance purchased by the Secretary of Administration.

    (g) Nothing in this chapter waives the rights of the State under the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    (h) [Repealed.] (Added 1961, No. 265, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1961; amended 1963, No. 215, § 1; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1989, No. 114, § 1, eff. June 20, 1989; 1989, No. 114, § 11(b); 1989, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1995, No. 60, § 41a, eff. April 25, 1995; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(c)(2), eff. May 6, 1996; 1999, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 280; 2009, No. 33, § 83(f); 2011, No. 40, § 36; 2021, No. 74, § E.103.)