Local Governments Defend Notice Law for Pending Lawsuits

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp, with a panel of several representatives from the MACo and MML legal community, testified to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee February 12, opposing SB147, Local Government Tort Claims Act and Maryland Tort Claims Act – Repeal of Certain Notice Requirements. This bill would repeal the notice requirement for claims against local governments under the Local Government Tort Claims Act and the 1-year claim filing provision under the Maryland Tort Claims Act.

Essentially, this bill would undermine the ability of local government to properly conduct investigations in its defense. Governments are common defendants for a wide range of lawsuits, and the required notice provision frequently plays an important role in alerting government to a potentially unsafe equipment or facilities.

MACo’s written testimony states:

The LGTCA has worked well for several decades, successfully balancing the ability of plaintiffs to assert claims and recover damages against local governments versus recognizing the unique role of local governments in providing public services and preserving a local government’s ability to adequately investigate claims made against it. SB 147 would upset that successful balance, reducing the ability of a local government to defend itself and increasing its litigation and liability costs.

For more on all of MACo’s 2015 Legislation, please visit the Legislative Database.