Laws

Chapter 5 – The Governmental Tort Claims Act

Section 151 - Short Title

This act shall be known and may be cited as “The Governmental Tort Claims Act”.

Section 152 - Definitions

As used in The Governmental Tort Claims Act:

1. “Action” means a proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction by which one party brings a suit against another;

2. “Agency” means any board, commission, committee, department or other instrumentality or entity designated to act in behalf of the state or a political subdivision;

3. “Charitable health care provider” means a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the laws of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or the practice of a profession and who provides care to a medically indigent person, as defined in paragraph 8 of this section, with no expectation of or acceptance of compensation of any kind;

4. “Claim” means any written demand presented by a claimant or the claimant’s authorized representative in accordance with this act to recover money from the state or political subdivision as compensation for an act or omission of a political subdivision or the state or an employee;

5. “Claimant” means the person or the person’s authorized representative who files notice of a claim in accordance with The Governmental Tort Claims Act. Only the following persons and no others may be claimants:

a. any person holding an interest in real or personal property which suffers a loss, provided that the claim of the person shall be aggregated with claims of all other persons holding an interest in the property and the claims of all other persons which are derivative of the loss, and that multiple claimants shall be considered a single claimant,

b. the individual actually involved in the accident or occurrence who suffers a loss, provided that the individual shall aggregate in the claim the losses of all other persons which are derivative of the loss, or

c. in the case of death, an administrator, special administrator or a personal representative who shall aggregate in the claim all losses of all persons which are derivative of the death;

6. “Community health care provider” means:

a. a health care provider who volunteers services at a community health center that has been deemed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a federally qualified health center as defined by 42 U.S.C., Section 1396d(l)(2)(B),

b. a health provider who provides services to an organization that has been deemed a federally qualified look-alike community health center, and

c. a health care provider who provides services to a community health center that has made application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for approval and deeming as a federally qualified look-alike community health center in compliance with federal application guidance, and has received comments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as to the status of such application with the established intent of resubmitting a modified application, or, if denied, a new application, no later than six (6) months from the date of the official notification from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requiring resubmission of a new application;

7. “Employee” means any person who is authorized to act in behalf of a political subdivision or the state whether that person is acting on a permanent or temporary basis, with or without being compensated or on a full-time or part-time basis.

a. Employee also includes:

(1) all elected or appointed officers, members of governing bodies and other persons designated to act for an agency or political subdivision, but the term does not mean a person or other legal entity while acting in the capacity of an independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor,

(2) from September 1, 1991, through June 30, 1996, licensed physicians, licensed osteopathic physicians and certified nurse-midwives providing prenatal, delivery or infant care services to State Department of Health clients pursuant to a contract entered into with the State Department of Health in accordance with paragraph 3 of subsection B of Section 1-106 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes but only insofar as services authorized by and in conformity with the terms of the contract and the requirements of Section 1-233 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and

(3) any volunteer, full-time or part-time firefighter when performing duties for a fire department provided for in subparagraph j of paragraph 11 of this section.

b. For the purpose of The Governmental Tort Claims Act, the following are employees of this state, regardless of the place in this state where duties as employees are performed:

(1) physicians acting in an administrative capacity,

(2) resident physicians and resident interns participating in a graduate medical education program of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of Oklahoma State University, or the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services,

(3) faculty members and staff of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of Oklahoma State University, while engaged in teaching duties,

(4) physicians who practice medicine or act in an administrative capacity as an employee of an agency of the State of Oklahoma,

(5) physicians who provide medical care to inmates pursuant to a contract with the Department of Corrections,

(6) any person who is licensed to practice medicine pursuant to Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes, who is under an administrative professional services contract with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority under the auspices of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Chief Medical Officer, and who is limited to performing administrative duties such as professional guidance for medical reviews, reimbursement rates, service utilization, health care delivery and benefit design for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, only while acting within the scope of such contract,

(7) licensed medical professionals under contract with city, county, or state entities who provide medical care to inmates or detainees in the custody or control of law enforcement agencies, and

(8) licensed mental health professionals as defined in Sections 1-103 and 5-502 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes, who are conducting initial examinations of individuals for the purpose of determining whether an individual meets the criteria for emergency detention as part of a contract with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Physician faculty members and staff of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of Oklahoma State University not acting in an administrative capacity or engaged in teaching duties are not employees or agents of the state.

c. Except as provided in subparagraph b of this paragraph, in no event shall the state be held liable for the tortious conduct of any physician, resident physician or intern while practicing medicine or providing medical treatment to patients;

8. “Loss” means death or injury to the body or rights of a person or damage to real or personal property or rights therein;

9. “Medically indigent” means a person requiring medically necessary hospital or other health care services for the person or the dependents of the person who has no public or private third-party coverage, and whose personal resources are insufficient to provide for needed health care;

10. “Municipality” means any incorporated city or town, and all institutions, agencies or instrumentalities of a municipality;

11. “Political subdivision” means:

a. a municipality,

b. a school district, including, but not limited to, a technology center school district established pursuant to Section 441044114420 or 4420.1 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes,

c. a county,

d. a public trust where the sole beneficiary or beneficiaries are a city, town, school district or county. For purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act, a public trust shall include:

(1) a municipal hospital created pursuant to Sections 30-101 through 30-109 of Title 11 of the Oklahoma Statutes, a county hospital created pursuant to Sections 781 through 796 of Title 19 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or is created pursuant to a joint agreement between such governing authorities, that is operated for the public benefit by a public trust created pursuant to Sections 176 through 180.4 of Title 60 of the Oklahoma Statutes and managed by a governing board appointed or elected by the municipality, county, or both, who exercises control of the hospital, subject to the approval of the governing body of the municipality, county, or both,

(2) a public trust created pursuant to Sections 176 through 180.4 of Title 60 of the Oklahoma Statutes after January 1, 2009, the primary purpose of which is to own, manage, or operate a public acute care hospital in this state that serves as a teaching hospital for a medical residency program provided by a college of osteopathic medicine and provides care to indigent persons, and

(3) a corporation in which all of the capital stock is owned, or a limited liability company in which all of the member interest is owned, by a public trust,

e. for the purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, a housing authority created pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Housing Authority Act,

f. for the purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, corporations organized not for profit pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma General Corporation Act for the primary purpose of developing and providing rural water supply and sewage disposal facilities to serve rural residents,

g. for the purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, districts formed pursuant to the Rural Water, Sewer, Gas and Solid Waste Management Districts Act,

h. for the purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, master conservancy districts formed pursuant to the Conservancy Act of Oklahoma,

i. for the purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, a fire protection district created pursuant to the provisions of Section 901.1 et seq. of Title 19 of the Oklahoma Statutes,

j. for the purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, a benevolent or charitable corporate volunteer or full-time fire department for an unincorporated area created pursuant to the provisions of Section 592 et seq. of Title 18 of the Oklahoma Statutes,

k. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, an Emergency Services Provider rendering services within the boundaries of a Supplemental Emergency Services District pursuant to an existing contract between the Emergency Services Provider and the State Department of Health. Provided, however, that the acquisition of commercial liability insurance covering the activities of such Emergency Services Provider performed within the State of Oklahoma shall not operate as a waiver of any of the limitations, immunities or defenses provided for political subdivisions pursuant to the terms of The Governmental Tort Claims Act,

l. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, a conservation district created pursuant to the provisions of the Conservation District Act,

m. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act, districts formed pursuant to the Oklahoma Irrigation District Act,

n. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, any community action agency established pursuant to Sections 5035 through 5040 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes,

o. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, any organization that is designated as a youth services agency, pursuant to Section 2-7-306 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes,

p. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, any judge presiding over a drug court, as defined by Section 471.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes,

q. for purposes of The Governmental Tort Claims Act only, any child-placing agency licensed by this state to place children in foster family homes, and

r. a circuit engineering district created pursuant to Section 687.1 of Title 69 of the Oklahoma Statutes,

and all their institutions, instrumentalities or agencies;

12. “Scope of employment” means performance by an employee acting in good faith within the duties of the employee’s office or employment or of tasks lawfully assigned by a competent authority including the operation or use of an agency vehicle or equipment with actual or implied consent of the supervisor of the employee, but shall not include corruption or fraud;

13. “State” means the State of Oklahoma or any office, department, agency, authority, commission, board, institution, hospital, college, university, public trust created pursuant to Title 60 of the Oklahoma Statutes of which the State of Oklahoma is the beneficiary, or other instrumentality thereof; and

14. “Tort” means a legal wrong, independent of contract, involving violation of a duty imposed by general law or otherwise, resulting in a loss to any person, association or corporation as the proximate result of an act or omission of a political subdivision or the state or an employee acting within the scope of employment.

Section 152.1 - Adoption of Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity

A. The State of Oklahoma does hereby adopt the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The state, its political subdivisions, and all of their employees acting within the scope of their employment, whether performing governmental or proprietary functions, shall be immune from liability for torts.

B. The state, only to the extent and in the manner provided in this act, waives its immunity and that of its political subdivisions. In so waiving immunity, it is not the intent of the state to waive any rights under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Section 152.2 - Charitable Health Care Providers - Agreements With State Department of Health or City-county Health Department

A. 1. The State Department of Health, or a city-county health department, may enter into agreements with charitable health care providers in which the provider stipulates to the State Department of Health, or a city-county health department, that when the provider renders professional services to a medically indigent person in a free clinic as provided in Section 32 of Title 76 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or when a patient is referred from a free clinic to another charitable health care provider for medical services, such services will be provided gratuitously;

2. The State Department of Health shall adopt rules which specify the conditions for termination of any such agreement, and the rules shall be made a part of the agreement. A city-county health department shall utilize the same rules as adopted by the State Department of Health for administration of the provisions of this section; and

3. A charitable health care provider, for purposes of any claim for damages arising as a result of rendering professional services to a medically indigent person, which professional services were rendered gratuitously in a free clinic as provided in Section 32 of Title 76 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or when a patient is referred from a free clinic to another charitable health care provider for medical services, at a time when an agreement entered into by the charitable health care provider with the State Department of Health, or a city-county health department, pursuant to this section was in effect, shall be considered an employee of the state under The Governmental Tort Claims Act.

B. The State Department of Health shall adopt rules on eligibility criteria for determining whether a person qualifies as a medically indigent person. A city-county health department shall utilize the same rules as adopted by the State Department of Health for administration of the provisions of this section.

C. Any claim arising from the rendering of or failure to render professional services by a charitable health care provider brought pursuant to The Governmental Tort Claims Act shall not be considered by an insurance company in determining the rate charged for any professional liability insurance policy for health care providers nor whether to cancel any such policy.

Section 152.3 - Agreements Between the State Department of Health and Community Health Care Providers

A. 1. The State Department of Health may enter into agreements with community health care providers in which the provider stipulates to the State Department of Health that when the provider renders professional services, such services will be provided without compensation to the community health care provider, although the facility may assess a sliding-scale co-pay fee.

2. The State Department of Health shall adopt rules which specify the conditions for termination of any such agreement, and the rules shall be made a part of the agreement.

3. A community health care provider, for purposes of any claim for damages arising as a result of rendering professional services to a person, which professional services were rendered without compensation or expectation of payment to the community health care provider, at a time when an agreement entered into by the community health care provider with the State Department of Health, pursuant to this section, was in effect, shall be considered an employee of the state under The Governmental Tort Claims Act.

B. The State Board of Health may promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section; provided that, health center sliding-fee scales shall be in accordance with federal law.

C. Any claim arising from the rendering of or failure to render professional services by a community health care provider brought pursuant to The Governmental Tort Claims Act shall not be considered by an insurance company in determining the rate charged for any professional liability insurance policy for health care providers nor whether to cancel any such policy.

Section 153 - Liability - Scope - Exemption

A. The state or a political subdivision shall be liable for loss resulting from its torts or the torts of its employees acting within the scope of their employment subject to the limitations and exceptions specified in this act and only where the state or political subdivision, if a private person or entity, would be liable for money damages under the laws of this state. The state or a political subdivision shall not be liable under the provisions of this act for any act or omission of an employee acting outside the scope of his employment.

B. The liability of the state or political subdivision under this act shall be exclusive and in place of all other liability of the state, a political subdivision or employee at common law or otherwise.

Section 153.1 - Housing of Inmates - Action Not Allowed

Nothing in the Governmental Tort Claims Act shall be construed as allowing an action or recovery against this state, against any city, town or county that is the sole beneficiary of a public trust, or against any employee of this state or any city, town or county of this state due to the housing of federal inmates or inmates from another state in facilities owned or operated by private prison contractors. If a public trust that has as its sole beneficiary a city, town or county has a facility that houses federal inmates or inmates from another state, the immunity provided for in the Governmental Tort Claims Act shall not apply to that trust.

Section 154 - Extent of Liability

A. The total liability of the state and its political subdivisions on claims within the scope of The Governmental Tort Claims Act, arising out of an accident or occurrence happening after the effective date of this act, Section 151 et seq. of this title, shall not exceed:

1. Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) for any claim or to any claimant who has more than one claim for loss of property arising out of a single act, accident, or occurrence;

2. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, One Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($125,000.00) to any claimant for a claim for any other loss arising out of a single act, accident, or occurrence. The limit of liability for the state or any city or county with a population of three hundred thousand (300,000) or more according to the latest federal Decennial Census shall not exceed One Hundred Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($175,000.00). Except however, the limits of said liability for the University Hospitals and State Mental Health Hospitals operated by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for claims arising from medical negligence shall be Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00). For claims arising from medical negligence by any licensed physician, osteopathic physician or certified nurse-midwife rendering prenatal, delivery or infant care services from September 1, 1991, through June 30, 1996, pursuant to a contract authorized by subsection B of Section 1-106 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes and in conformity with the requirements of Section 1-233 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the limits of said liability shall be Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00); or

3. One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence or accident.

B. 1. Beginning on the effective date of this act, claims shall be allowed for wrongful criminal felony conviction resulting in imprisonment if the claimant has received a full pardon on the basis of a written finding by the Governor of actual innocence for the crime for which the claimant was sentenced or has been granted judicial relief absolving the claimant of guilt on the basis of actual innocence of the crime for which the claimant was sentenced. The Governor or the court shall specifically state, in the pardon or order, the evidence or basis on which the finding of actual innocence is based.

2. As used in paragraph 1 of this subsection, for a claimant to recover based on “actual innocence”, the individual must meet the following criteria:

a. the individual was charged, by indictment or information, with the commission of a public offense classified as a felony,

b. the individual did not plead guilty to the offense charged, or to any lesser included offense, but was convicted of the offense,

c. the individual was sentenced to incarceration for a term of imprisonment as a result of the conviction,

d. the individual was imprisoned solely on the basis of the conviction for the offense, and

e. (1) in the case of a pardon, a determination was made by either the Pardon and Parole Board or the Governor that the offense for which the individual was convicted, sentenced and imprisoned, including any lesser offenses, was not committed by the individual, or

(2) in the case of judicial relief, a court of competent jurisdiction found by clear and convincing evidence that the offense for which the individual was convicted, sentenced and imprisoned, including any lesser included offenses, was not committed by the individual and issued an order vacating, dismissing or reversing the conviction and sentence and providing that no further proceedings can be or will be held against the individual on any facts and circumstances alleged in the proceedings which had resulted in the conviction.

3. A claimant shall not be entitled to compensation for any part of a sentence in prison during which the claimant was also serving a concurrent sentence for a crime not covered by this subsection.

4. The total liability of the state and its political subdivisions on any claim within the scope of The Governmental Tort Claims Act arising out of wrongful criminal felony conviction resulting in imprisonment shall not exceed One Hundred Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($175,000.00).

5. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to convictions occurring on or before the effective date of this act as well as convictions occurring after the effective date of this act. If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that retroactive application of this subsection is unconstitutional, the prospective application of this subsection shall remain valid.

C. No award for damages in an action or any claim against the state or a political subdivision shall include punitive or exemplary damages.

D. When the amount awarded to or settled upon multiple claimants exceeds the limitations of this section, any party may apply to the district court which has jurisdiction of the cause to apportion to each claimant the claimant’s proper share of the total amount as limited herein. The share apportioned to each claimant shall be in the proportion that the ratio of the award or settlement made to him bears to the aggregate awards and settlements for all claims against the state or its political subdivisions arising out of the occurrence. When the amount of the aggregate losses presented by a single claimant exceeds the limits of paragraph 1 or 2 of subsection A of this section, each person suffering a loss shall be entitled to that person’s proportionate share.

E. The total liability of resident physicians and interns while participating in a graduate medical education program of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, its affiliated institutions and the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery shall not exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).

F. The state or a political subdivision may petition the court that all parties and actions arising out of a single accident or occurrence shall be joined as provided by law, and upon order of the court the proceedings upon good cause shown shall be continued for a reasonable time or until such joinder has been completed. The state or political subdivision shall be allowed to interplead in any action which may impose on it any duty or liability pursuant to this act.

G. The liability of the state or political subdivision under The Governmental Tort Claims Act shall be several from that of any other person or entity, and the state or political subdivision shall only be liable for that percentage of total damages that corresponds to its percentage of total negligence. Nothing in this section shall be construed as increasing the liability limits imposed on the state or political subdivision under The Governmental Tort Claims Act.

Section 155 - Exemptions From Liability

The state or a political subdivision shall not be liable if a loss or claim results from:

1. Legislative functions;

2. Judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutorial functions, other than claims for wrongful criminal felony conviction resulting in imprisonment provided for in Section 154 of this title;

3. Execution or enforcement of the lawful orders of any court;

4. Adoption or enforcement of or failure to adopt or enforce a law, whether valid or invalid, including, but not limited to, any statute, charter provision, ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation or written policy;

5. Performance of or the failure to exercise or perform any act or service which is in the discretion of the state or political subdivision or its employees;

6. Civil disobedience, riot, insurrection or rebellion or the failure to provide, or the method of providing, police, law enforcement or fire protection;

7. Any claim based on the theory of attractive nuisance;

8. Snow or ice conditions or temporary or natural conditions on any public way or other public place due to weather conditions, unless the condition is affirmatively caused by the negligent act of the state or a political subdivision;

9. Entry upon any property where that entry is expressly or implied authorized by law;

10. Natural conditions of property of the state or political subdivision;

11. Assessment or collection of taxes or special assessments, license or registration fees, or other fees or charges imposed by law;

12. Licensing powers or functions including, but not limited to, the issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of or failure or refusal to issue, deny, suspend or revoke any permit, license, certificate, approval, order or similar authority;

13. Inspection powers or functions, including failure to make an inspection, review or approval, or making an inadequate or negligent inspection, review or approval of any property, real or personal, to determine whether the property complies with or violates any law or contains a hazard to health or safety, or fails to conform to a recognized standard;

14. Any loss to any person covered by any workers’ compensation act or any employer’s liability act;

15. Absence, condition, location or malfunction of any traffic or road sign, signal or warning device unless the absence, condition, location or malfunction is not corrected by the state or political subdivision responsible within a reasonable time after actual or constructive notice or the removal or destruction of such signs, signals or warning devices by third parties, action of weather elements or as a result of traffic collision except on failure of the state or political subdivision to correct the same within a reasonable time after actual or constructive notice. Nothing herein shall give rise to liability arising from the failure of the state or any political subdivision to initially place any of the above signs, signals or warning devices. The signs, signals and warning devices referred to herein are those used in connection with hazards normally connected with the use of roadways or public ways and do not apply to the duty to warn of special defects such as excavations or roadway obstructions;

16. Any claim which is limited or barred by any other law;

17. Misrepresentation, if unintentional;

18. An act or omission of an independent contractor or consultant or his or her employees, agents, subcontractors or suppliers or of a person other than an employee of the state or political subdivision at the time the act or omission occurred;

19. Theft by a third person of money in the custody of an employee unless the loss was sustained because of the negligence or wrongful act or omission of the employee;

20. Participation in or practice for any interscholastic or other athletic contest sponsored or conducted by or on the property of the state or a political subdivision;

21. Participation in any activity approved by a local board of education and held within a building or on the grounds of the school district served by that local board of education before or after normal school hours or on weekends;

22. Use of indoor or outdoor school property and facilities made available for public recreation before or after normal school hours or on weekends or school vacations, except those claims resulting from willful and wanton acts of negligence. For purposes of this paragraph:

a. “public” includes, but is not limited to, students during nonschool hours and school staff when not working as employees of the school, and

b. “recreation” means any indoor or outdoor physical activity, either organized or unorganized, undertaken for exercise, relaxation, diversion, sport or pleasure, and that is not otherwise covered by paragraph 20 or 21 of this section;

23. Any court-ordered or Department of Corrections approved work release program; provided, however, this provision shall not apply to claims from individuals not in the custody of the Department of Corrections based on accidents involving motor vehicles owned or operated by the Department of Corrections;

24. The activities of the National Guard, the militia or other military organization administered by the Military Department of the state when on duty pursuant to the lawful orders of competent authority:

a. in an effort to quell a riot,

b. in response to a natural disaster or military attack, or

c. if participating in a military mentor program ordered by the court;

25. Provision, equipping, operation or maintenance of any prison, jail or correctional facility, or injuries resulting from the parole or escape of a prisoner or injuries by a prisoner to any other prisoner; provided, however, this provision shall not apply to claims from individuals not in the custody of the Department of Corrections based on accidents involving motor vehicles owned or operated by the Department of Corrections;

26. Provision, equipping, operation or maintenance of any juvenile detention facility, or injuries resulting from the escape of a juvenile detainee, or injuries by a juvenile detainee to any other juvenile detainee;

27. Any claim or action based on the theory of manufacturer’s products liability or breach of warranty, either expressed or implied;

28. Any claim or action based on the theory of indemnification or subrogation;

29. Any claim based upon an act or omission of an employee in the placement of children;

30. Acts or omissions done in conformance with then current recognized standards;

31. Maintenance of the state highway system or any portion thereof unless the claimant presents evidence which establishes either that the state failed to warn of the unsafe condition or that the loss would not have occurred but for a negligent affirmative act of the state;

32. Any confirmation of the existence or nonexistence of any effective financing statement on file in the office of the Secretary of State made in good faith by an employee of the office of the Secretary of State as required by the provisions of Section 1-9-320.6 of Title 12A of the Oklahoma Statutes;

33. Any court-ordered community sentence;

34. Remedial action and any subsequent related maintenance of property pursuant to and in compliance with an authorized environmental remediation program, order, or requirement of a federal or state environmental agency;

35. The use of necessary and reasonable force by a school district employee to control and discipline a student during the time the student is in attendance or in transit to and from the school, or any other function authorized by the school district;

36. Actions taken in good faith by a school district employee for the out-of-school suspension of a student pursuant to applicable Oklahoma Statutes; or

37. Use of a public facility opened to the general public during an emergency.

Section 155.1 - Claim Founded upon Loss Occurring from Defect or Dangerous Condition on Road, Street or Highway

Nothing contained in this act shall be construed as allowing an action or recovery against the state or any of its officers or employees on a claim or cause of action founded upon any loss occurring from a defect or dangerous condition on any road, street or highway which was in existence, whether known or unknown:

1. On October 1, 1985; or

2. When an existing facility became or becomes a part of the state highway system; or

3. When an existing facility became or becomes the maintenance responsibility of the state, to the extent of that responsibility as required by law.

To the extent that the state is required by law to maintain a road, street, or highway within the territorial limits of a political subdivision, the political subdivision shall not be liable for any loss occurring from a defect or dangerous condition in the area required to be maintained by the state.

Section 155.2 - Liability of State for Y2K Failure

A. Except as provided in subsection C, D or E of this section, the state or any political subdivision of the state or an independent contractor of the state shall have no liability for losses from any failure or malfunction occurring before December 31, 2002, which is caused directly or indirectly by the failure of computer software or any device containing a computer processor to accurately or properly recognize, calculate, display, sort, or otherwise process dates or times.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, D or E of this section, no claim or cause of action, including, without limitation, any civil action or action for declaratory of injunctive relief, whether arising out of contract or arising independent of contract, may be brought against the state or any political subdivision of the state or against an independent contractor or an officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision on the basis that a computer or other information system that is owned or operated by any of those persons produced, calculated or generated an incorrect date or failed to accurately store, process, provide or receive data. Any contract entered into by or on behalf of and in the capacity of this state, an immune contractor or an officer or employee of the state or any of its agencies or political subdivisions must include a provision that provides immunity to those persons for any breach of contract that is caused by an incorrect date being produced, calculated or generated by a computer or computer system or caused a computer or computer system to fail to accurately store, process, provide or receive data that is owned or operated by any of those persons. Any contract subject to the provisions of this section that is entered into on or after July 1, 1999, has the legal effect of including the immunity required by this section, and any provision of the contract which is in conflict with this section is void. Notwithstanding any other provision herein, the provisions of this subsection shall not provide immunity from fulfilling a contract or relieve the state or any political subdivision of the state of its obligation to fulfill the terms of a contract or to provide services or make payments under the terms of the contract in a reasonable length of time.

C. A claim may be brought pursuant to the Governmental Tort Claims Act for negligence caused directly or indirectly by the failure of computer software or any device containing a computer processor to accurately or properly recognize, calculate, display, sort, or otherwise process dates or times, if the failure resulted in bodily injury or death.

D. Neither the state or any political subdivision of the state shall be immune from a claim or cause of action iremediation efforts were not begun by January 1, 1999.

E. Nothing in this section shall limit the liability of any individual or entity to the state or any political subdivision of the state, and contracts between the state or any political subdivision of the state and an independent contractor will not include a provision, express or implied, that grants the independent contractor immunity from liability to the state or any political subdivision of the state for any breach of contract that is caused by an incorrect date being produced, calculated or generated by a computer or computer system that is owned or operated by the independent contractor.

F. As used in this section:

1. “Independent contractor” means a defendant, as defined in Section 2 of this act, providing, pursuant to contract, a computer program or software, a computer system, or providing computer technical assistance to the state or a political subdivision of the state;

2. “Remediation efforts” means:

a. in the case of software, writing computer code to correct dates in data sensitive programs,

b. in the case of embedded chips or systems, testing the embedded systems or chips to determine if they are year 2000 compliant or assisting vendors in testing for such compliance, and

c. making necessary corrections to make the system compliant; and

3. “Computer system” means any electronic device or collection of devices, including support devices, networks and embedded chips, and excluding calculators that are not programmable, that contain computer programs or electronic instructions and that perform functions including logic, arithmetic, data processing, data storage and retrieval, communication or control.

Section 156 - Claims - Petition - Limitation of Actions - Notice - Wrongful Death

A. Any person having a claim against the state or a political subdivision within the scope of Section 151 et seq. of this title shall present a claim to the state or political subdivision for any appropriate relief including the award of money damages.

B. Except as provided in subsection H of this section, and not withstanding any other provision of law, claims against the state or a political subdivision are to be presented within one (1) year of the date the loss occurs. A claim against the state or a political subdivision shall be forever barred unless notice thereof is presented within one (1) year after the loss occurs.

C. A claim against the state shall be in writing and filed with the Office of the Risk Management Administrator of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services who shall immediately notify the Attorney General and the agency concerned and conduct a diligent investigation of the validity of the claim within the time specified for approval or denial of claims by Section 157 of this title. A claim may be filed by certified mail with return receipt requested. A claim which is mailed shall be considered filed upon receipt by the Office of the Risk Management Administrator.

D. A claim against a political subdivision shall be in writing and filed with the office of the clerk of the governing body.

E. The written notice of claim to the state or a political subdivision shall state the date, time, place and circumstances of the claim, the identity of the state agency or agencies involved, the amount of compensation or other relief demanded, the name, address and telephone number of the claimant, the name, address and telephone number of any agent authorized to settle the claim, and any and all other information required to meet the reporting requirements of the Medicare Secondary Payer Mandatory Reporting Provisions in Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Failure to state either the date, time, place and circumstances and amount of compensation demanded, or any information requested to comply with the reporting claims to CMS under MMSEA shall not invalidate the notice unless the claimant declines or refuses to furnish such information after demand by the state or political subdivision. The time for giving written notice of claim pursuant to the provisions of this section does not include the time during which the person injured is unable due to incapacitation from the injury to give such notice, not exceeding ninety (90) days of incapacity.

F. When the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission, notice may be presented by the personal representative within one (1) year after the death occurs. If the person for whose death the claim is made has presented notice that would have been sufficient had he lived, an action for wrongful death may be brought without any additional notice.

G. Claims and suits against resident physicians or interns shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Titles 12 and 76 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

H. For purposes of claims based on wrongful felony conviction resulting in imprisonment provided for in Section 154 of this title, loss occurs on the date that the claimant receives a pardon based on actual innocence from the Governor or the date that the claimant receives judicial relief absolving the claimant of guilt based on actual innocence; provided, for persons whose basis for a claim occurred prior to the effective date of this act, the claim must be submitted within one (1) year after the effective date of this act.

Section 157 - Notice of Approval or Denial of Claim

Notice of Approval or Denial of Claim

A. A person may not initiate a suit against the state or a political subdivision unless the claim has been denied in whole or in part. A claim is deemed denied if the state or political subdivision fails to approve the claim in its entirety within ninety (90) days, unless the state or political subdivision has denied the claim or reached a settlement with the claimant before the expiration of that period. If the state or a political subdivision approves or denies the claim in ninety (90) days or less, the state or political subdivision shall give notice within five (5) days of such action to the claimant at the address listed in the claim. If the state or political subdivision fails to give the notice required by this subsection, the period for commencement of an action in subsection B of this section shall not begin until the expiration of the ninety-day period for approval. The claimant and the state or political subdivision may continue attempts to settle a claim, however, settlement negotiations do not extend the date of denial unless agreed to in writing by the claimant and the state or political subdivision.

B. No action for any cause arising under this act, Section 151 et seq. of this title, shall be maintained unless valid notice has been given and the action is commenced within one hundred eighty (180) days after denial of the claim as set forth in this section. The claimant and the state or political subdivision may agree in writing to extend the time to commence an action for the purpose of continuing to attempt settlement of the claim except no such extension shall be for longer than two (2) years from the date of the loss.

Section 158 - Settlement or Defense of Claim - Effect of Liability Insurance

A. The state or a political subdivision, after conferring with authorized legal counsel, may settle or defend against a claim or suit brought against it or its employee under The Governmental Tort Claims Act subject to any procedural requirements imposed by statute, ordinance, resolution or written policy, and may appropriate money for the payment of amounts agreed upon. When the amount of any settlement exceeds Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), and any payment required by the settlement will not be paid through an applicable contract or policy of insurance, the settlement shall not be effective until approved by the district court and entered as a judgment as provided by law.

B. Any settlement payout pursuant to this section may be structured in any manner as agreed to by the parties involved; provided, if the state is a party to the settlement, and the settlement provides for a structured settlement, the state may participate in the structured settlement if the state payments to the claimant or the insurance or annuity company that is the assignee of the claimant are completed within the fiscal year in which settlement is agreed to and if the parties sign a Qualified Assignment and Release Agreement that releases the state from further obligation.

C. If a policy or contract of liability insurance covering the state or political subdivision or its employees is applicable, the terms of the policy govern the rights and obligations of the state or political subdivision and the insurer with respect to the investigation, settlement, payment and defense of claims or suits against the state or political subdivision or its employees covered by the policy. However, the insurer may not enter into a settlement for an amount which exceeds the insurance coverage without the approval of the governing body of the state or political subdivision or its designated representative if the state or political subdivision is insured.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal or modify Sections 361 through 365.6 and 435 of Title 62 of the Oklahoma Statutes and it is intended that this section be construed in conformance with those sections.

E. The state or a political subdivision shall not be liable for any costs, judgments or settlements paid through an applicable contract or policy of insurance but shall be entitled to set off those payments against liability arising from the same occurrence.

F. The state or a political subdivision shall have the right of subrogation against the insurer issuing any applicable contractor policy of insurance to the monetary limit of said policy of insurance or contract, if judgment or settlement of any claim arising pursuant to this act results in the imposition of monetary liability upon the state or the political subdivision.

G. Judgments, orders, and settlements of claims shall be open public records unless sealed by the court for good cause shown.

Section 159 - Enforcement of Judgments

A. Judgments recovered against the state or political subdivisions under the provisions of this act shall be enforced in the same manner and to the same extent as judgments are now enforced against the state or political subdivisions under the law except as herein provided.

B. If the judgment is obtained against the state or a political subdivision that has procured a contract or policy of liability or indemnity insurance protection, the holder of the judgment may use the methods of collecting the judgment which are provided by the policy or contract or law to the extent of the limits of coverage provided.

C. For the payment of any judgment obtained under the provisions of this act against a political subdivision that is a self-insurer or not fully covered by liability insurance, the manner of paying a money judgment shall be as follows. Proof of indebtedness, as required in Sections 362 through 364 of Title 62 of the Oklahoma Statutes and evidence of any estimated tax levy or increases necessary to reimburse the sinking fund for the purposes of the judgment as provided in Section 431 of Title 62 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and other evidence or statements which the court may require, shall be made to the court before final judgment is rendered. As an alternative to paying the money judgment out of the sinking fund at the rate of one-third (1/3) each year, the court, based on consideration of evidence and proof, may provide for the judgment to be paid over a period of not less than one (1) nor more than ten (10) years. The interest rate on any judgment when payment is extended more than three (3) years shall be at the rate prescribed by law for the first three (3) years and at the rate of six percent (6%) for each remaining year.

D. Money judgments against the state not payable by insurance shall be paid in the following manner. An agency whose act or omission gave rise to the judgment may, at its discretion and upon approval of the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, pay a judgment or any portion thereof from any funds available to it. Provided, however, no agency shall be required to pay a judgment prior to the fiscal year next following the fiscal year in which the judgment is obtained. Any such judgment may be paid at a rate of one-third (1/3) per fiscal year from funds available for operation of the agency.

E. Nothing in this act shall be interpreted as allowing liens on public property.

Section 160 - Injuries for Which Political Subdivision Liable - Recovery of Payments - Limitations of Actions

The state or political subdivision shall have the right to recover from an employee for any claim or action under this act or any other claim or action any payments made by it for any judgment or settlement, or portion thereof, and costs or fees by or on behalf of an employee’s defense if it is shown that the conduct of the employee which gave rise to the claim or action was outside the scope of his employment, or if the employee fails to cooperate in good faith in the defense of the claim or action. A judgment or settlement in an action or claim under this act shall constitute a complete bar to any action by the claimant against an employee whose conduct gave rise to the claim resulting in that judgment or settlement. Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize the state or political subdivision to pay for any punitive or exemplary damages rendered against an employee.

Section 161 - Repealed by Laws 1984

Repealed by Laws 1984, SB 469, c. 226, § 16, eff. October 1, 1985

Section 161.1 - State's Duty to Defend

When the state has a duty to defend any action pursuant to the provisions of this act, it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to defend all such actions, unless an agency of the state is authorized by law to employ its own attorneys, in which case said attorneys may defend such actions against the agency or the agency may request that the Attorney General defend such actions. If such a request is made, the Attorney General shall defend any such action.

Section 162 - Constitutional or Statutory Rights, Privileges or Immunities - Violation by Employee - Defending - Indemnification - Right of Recovery - Punitive or Exemplary Damages

A. The state or any political subdivision, subject to procedural requirements imposed by this section, other applicable statute, ordinance, resolution, or written policy, shall:

1. Provide a defense for any employee as defined in Section 152 of this title when liability is sought for any violation of property rights or any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States when alleged to have been committed by the employee while acting within the scope of employment;

2. Pay or cause to be paid any judgment entered in the courts of the United States, the State of Oklahoma or any other state against any employee or political subdivision or settlement agreed to by the political subdivision entered against any employee, and any costs or fees, for a violation of property rights or any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States which occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of employment. The maximum aggregate amount of indemnification paid directly from funds of the state or any political subdivision to or on behalf of any employee pursuant to this section shall not exceed the maximum figures authorized by the provisions of Section 154 of this title, regardless of the number of persons who suffer damage, injury or death as a result of the occurrence, unless, in the case of a political subdivision, the political subdivision establishes higher limits by ordinance, if a municipality, or, as to other political subdivisions, by resolution, published as required by law; and

3. For any cause of action filed against an employee on or after January 1, 1990, post or cause to be posted any supersedeas or other bond ordered by the court.

B. 1. The state or a political subdivision shall not be required to indemnify any employee of the state or a political subdivision under the provisions of this section, unless the employee is judicially determined to be entitled to such indemnification and a final judgment therefor is entered. The exclusive means of recovering indemnification from the state shall be by filing an application for indemnification in the district court of the county where venue is proper as provided for in paragraph 2 of this subsection. The exclusive means of recovering indemnification from a political subdivision shall be by filing an application for indemnification in the trial court where the judgment was entered. If the federal trial court cannot hear the action, such application shall be filed in the district court of the county where the situs of the municipality is located. Actions to determine entitlement to indemnification shall be tried to the court, sitting without a jury.

2. Venue for actions to determine entitlement to indemnification from the state shall be in Oklahoma County, except that a constitutional state agency, board or commission may, upon a resolution being filed with the Secretary of State, designate another situs for venue in lieu of Oklahoma County.

3. All applications for indemnification from the state or a political subdivision shall be filed in the name of the real party or parties in interest, and in no event shall any application be presented nor recovery made under the right of subrogation. Indemnification from the state as provided for in this subsection shall extend only to acts or omissions occurring on or after January 1, 1984. The employee of the state or a political subdivision must file an application for indemnification within thirty (30) days of final judgment, or the right to seek indemnification shall be lost forever.

4. In order to recover indemnification from the state or a political subdivision pursuant to this subsection, the court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence that:

a. the employee reasonably cooperated in good faith in the defense of the action upon which the judgment or settlement was awarded and for which indemnification is sought;

b. the actions or omissions upon which such a judgment or settlement has been rendered were not the result of fraudulent conduct or corruption by the employee;

c. the employee, in committing the acts or omissions upon which a judgment or settlement has been rendered was acting in good faith and within any applicable written administrative policies known to the employee at the time of the omissions or acts alleged;

d. the employee was acting within the scope of employment at the time that the acts or omissions upon which a judgment or settlement has been rendered were committed by the employee;

e. the acts or omissions of the employee upon which a judgment or settlement has been rendered were not motivated by invidious discriminatory animus directed toward race, sex, or national origin; and

f. when punitive or exemplary damages are included in the total award rendered against the employee of a political subdivision, the indemnification amount sought for fees and costs does not include amounts attributable to the employee’s defense against the punitive or exemplary damages in accordance with subsection D of this section.

5. a. Any indemnification judgment against the state under this section shall be an encumbrance against otherwise available unencumbered monies and unallocated unencumbered monies in the appropriations of the agency on whose behalf the employee to be indemnified was acting at the time of the act or omission upon which the judgment or settlement was awarded and for which indemnification was sought.

b. If sufficient unencumbered monies or unallocated unencumbered monies do not exist in the agency’s appropriations to pay the indemnification, the agency shall make application to the Risk Management Division of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services for full payment of the indemnification out of the Risk Management Revolving Fund established pursuant to Section 85.58K of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Payment out of this fund shall be authorized if there are sufficient monies greater than the sum total of the then pending fund indemnification judgment requests, and the reserves for future tort claims as certified by the Director of Risk Management.

c. If sufficient monies do not exist in the Tort Claims Liability Revolving Fund, the agency shall request the Legislature to make an appropriation sufficient to pay the indemnification.

d. Any indemnification judgment against a political subdivision shall be paid as provided in Sections 361 through 365.6 of Title 62 of the Oklahoma Statutes and Section 159 of this title.

C. The state or political subdivision shall have the right to recover from an employee the amount expended by the state or political subdivision to provide a defense, or pay a settlement agreed to by the employee and the state or political subdivision, or pay the final judgment, if it is shown that the employee’s conduct which gave rise to the action was fraudulent or corrupt or if the employee fails to reasonably cooperate in good faith in defense of the action.

D. The state or a political subdivision shall not, under any circumstances, be responsible to pay or indemnify any employee for any punitive or exemplary damages rendered against the employee, nor to pay for any defense, judgment, settlement, costs, or fees which are paid or covered by any applicable policy or contract of insurance. Where any civil rights judgment upon which indemnification under subsection B of this section is applied for by an employee of the state includes an award for both actual and punitive or exemplary damages, the total amount of fees and costs for which indemnification may be allowed shall be limited to the percentage of fees and costs in the total award that the percentage of the award of actual damages bears to the total judgment awarded. It is the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the state or a political subdivision may indemnify its employee for actual damages, fees, and costs as provided herein in any case in which the findings set out in paragraph B of this section have been determined.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to waive any immunities available to the state under the terms of the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Any immunity or other bar to a civil lawsuit under state or federal law shall remain in effect. The fact that the state or a political subdivision may relieve an employee from all judgments, settlements, costs, or fees arising from the civil lawsuit shall not, under any circumstances, be communicated to any trier of fact in the case of any trial by jury.

Section 163 - Venue - Parties - Service of Process - Evidence of Insurance

A. Venue for actions against the state within the scope of this act shall be either the county in which the cause of action arose or Oklahoma County, except that a constitutional state agency, board or commission may, upon resolution filed with the Secretary of State, designate another situs for venue in lieu of Oklahoma County.

B. Actions against all political subdivisions within the scope of this act shall be brought in the county in which the situs of the political subdivision is located or in the county in which the cause of action arose; provided, any action brought against a municipality which is an owner of a dam, based upon the construction, maintenance, or operation of the dam, shall be brought in the county where the dam or a major portion of the dam is located.

C. Suits instituted pursuant to the provisions of this act shall name as defendant the state or the political subdivision against which liability is sought to be established. In no instance shall an employee of the state or political subdivision acting within the scope of his employment be named as defendant with the exception that suits based on the conduct of resident physicians and interns shall be made against the individual consistent with the provisions of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

D. All actions against the state or political subdivision shall be filed in the name of the real party or parties in interest, and in no event shall any claim be presented nor recovery be made under the right of subrogation.

E. In all actions against the state, service shall be perfected by mailing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a summons and a copy of the petition to the Attorney General. Claimant shall also mail, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the summons and a copy of the petition to the administrative head of the state agency or agencies involved and a copy of the summons and a copy of the petition to the Risk Management Administrator of the Purchasing Division of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

F. In suits against political subdivisions the petition and summons shall be served in the manner prescribed by law for civil cases generally. If no method is prescribed by law, then service may be had on the administrative head of the political subdivision being sued, if available, and if not, the court in which the suit is pending may authorize service in such manner as may be calculated to afford the political subdivision a fair opportunity to answer and defend the suit.

G. No attempt shall be made in the trial of any action brought against the state or any political subdivision or employee within the scope of this act to suggest the existence of any insurance which covers in whole or in part any judgment or award which may be rendered in favor of the plaintiff.

Section 164 - Application of Oklahoma Laws and Statutes and Rules of Procedure

The laws and statutes of the State of Oklahoma and the Rules of Civil Procedure, as promulgated and adopted by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma insofar as applicable and to the extent that such rules are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall apply to and govern all actions brought under the provisions of this act.

Section 165 - Exempt Claim

This act does not apply to any claim against any political subdivision or employee arising before the effective date of this act. Any such claim may be presented and enforced to the same extent and subject to the same procedures and restrictions as if this act had not been adopted.

Section 166 - Governmental and Proprietary Functions of Political Subdivisions - Application of Act

The distinction existing between governmental functions and proprietary functions of political subdivisions shall not be affected by the provisions of this act; however the provisions of this act shall apply to both governmental and proprietary functions.

Section 167 - Insurance

A. The governing body of any municipality may:

1. Insure the municipality against all or any part of any liability it may incur for death, injury or disability of any person or for damage to property, either real or personal;

2. Insure any employee of the municipality against all or any part of his liability for injury or damage resulting from an act or omission in the scope of employment;

3. Insure against the expense of defending a claim against the municipality or its employee, whether or not liability exists on such claim; or

4. Insure the municipality or its employee against any loss, damage or liability as defined by Sections 702 through 708 of Title 36 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or other forms of insurance provided for in Title 36 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

The cost or premium of any such insurance is a proper expenditure of the municipality.

As used in this subsection, “employee” means any person who has acted in behalf of a municipality, whether that person is acting on a permanent or temporary basis with or without being compensated or on a full-time or part-time basis. Employee also includes all elected or appointed officers, members of governing bodies of a municipality, and persons appointed, and other persons designated by a municipality to act in its behalf.

B. Any insurance authorized by law to be purchased, obtained or provided by a municipality may be provided by:

1. Self-insurance, which may be, but is not required to be, funded by appropriations to establish or maintain reserves for self-insurance purposes. Any self-insurance reserve fund shall be nonfiscal and shall not be considered in computing any levy when the municipality makes its annual estimate for needed appropriations;

2. Insurance in any insurer authorized to transact insurance in this state;

3. Insurance secured in accordance with any other method provided by law; or

4. Any combination of insurance authorized by this section.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, two or more municipalities or public agencies who are affiliated in an insurance program which was originated prior to January 1, 2006, by interlocal agreement made pursuant to Section 1001 et seq. of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes, may provide insurance for any purpose by any one or more of the methods specified in this section. The pooling of self-insured reserves, claims or losses among governments as authorized in this act shall not be construed to be transacting insurance nor otherwise subject to the provisions of the laws of this state regulating insurance or insurance companies. Two or more municipalities may also be insured under a master policy or contract of insurance. Premium costs may be set individually for each municipality or apportioned among participating municipalities as provided by the master policy or contract.

Section 168 - Repealed by Laws 2005

Section 168 – Repealed by Laws 2005, SB 668, c. 472, § 17, emerg. eff. July 1, 2005

Section 169 - Counties - Insurance

A. The governing body of any county may:

1. Insure the county against all or any part of any liability it may incur for death, injury or disability of any person or for damage to property, either real or personal;

2. Insure any employee of the county against all or any part of his liability for injury or damage resulting from an act or omission in the scope of employment;

3. Insure against the expense of defending a claim against the county or its employee, whether or not liability exists on such claim; or

4. Insure the county or its employee against any loss, damage or liability as defined by Sections 702 through 708 of Title 36 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or other forms of insurance provided for in Title 36 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The cost or premium of any such insurance is a proper expenditure of the county.

As used in this subsection, “employee” means any person who has acted in behalf of a county, whether that person is acting on a permanent or temporary basis with or without being compensated or on a full-time or part-time basis. Employee also includes all elected or appointed officers, members of governing bodies of a county, and persons appointed, and other persons designated by a county to act in its behalf.

B. Any insurance authorized by law to be purchased, obtained or provided by a county may be provided by:

1. Self-insurance, which may be, but is not required to be, funded by appropriations to establish or maintain reserves for self-insurance purposes. Any self-insurance reserve fund shall be nonfiscal and shall not be considered in computing any levy when the county makes its annual estimate for needed appropriations;

2. Insurance in any insurer authorized to transact insurance in this state;

3. Insurance secured in accordance with any other method provided by law; or

4. Any combination of insurance authorized by this section.

C. Two or more counties or public agencies, by interlocal agreement made pursuant to Sections 100 et seq. of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes, may provide insurance for any purpose by any one or more of the methods specified in this section. The pooling of self-insured reserves, claims or losses among governments as authorized in this act shall not be construed to be transacting insurance nor otherwise subject to the provisions of the laws of this state regulating insurance or insurance companies. Two or more counties may also be insured under a master policy or contract of insurance. Premium costs may be set individually for each county or apportioned among participating counties as provided by the master policy or contract.

Section 170 - Application of Laws

This act is exclusive and supersedes all home rule charter provisions and special laws on the same subject heretofore, and all acts or parts of acts in conflict herewith are repealed.

Section 171 - Abrogation

Nothing in this act shall abrogate or amend in any way presently existing remedies, causes of actions or claims presently existing on behalf of individuals or citizens. This act does not apply to any claim against the state or political subdivision arising before the effective date of this act.

Section 172 - Authority to Insure to Not for Profit Corporations with Primary Purpose of Developing and Providing Water and Sewage Disposal

A. The governing body of any corporation organized not for profit for the primary purpose of developing and providing rural water supply and sewage disposal facilities to serve rural residents and districts formed pursuant to the Rural Water, Sewer, Gas and Solid Waste Management Districts Act, Section 1324.1 et seq. of Title 82 of the Oklahoma Statutes, may:

1. Insure said entity against all or any part of any liability it may incur for death, injury or disability of any person or for damage to property, either real or personal;

2. Insure any employee of said entity against all or any part of his liability for injury or damage resulting from an act or omission in the scope of employment;

3. Insure against the expense of defending a claim against said entity or its employee, whether or not liability exists on such claim;

4. Insure said entity or its employee against any loss, damage or liability as provided by Sections 702 through 708 of Title 36 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or

5. Provide other forms of insurance provided for in Title 36 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

The cost or premium of any such insurance is a proper expenditure of said entity.

As used in this subsection, “employee” means any person who has acted in behalf of said entity, whether that person is acting on a permanent or temporary basis with or without being compensated or on a full-time or part-time basis. The term “employee” shall also include but not be limited to all elected or appointed officers, members of governing bodies of said entity, and other persons designated by said entity to act in its behalf.

B. Any insurance authorized by law to be purchased, obtained or provided by said entity may be provided by:

1. Self-insurance, which may be, but is not required to be, funded by appropriations to establish or maintain reserves for self-insurance purposes;

2. Insurance with any insurer authorized to transact insurance in this state;

3. Insurance secured in accordance with any other method provided by law; or

4. Any combination of insurance authorized by this section.

C. Two or more said entities or public agencies, by interlocal agreement made pursuant to Section 1001 et seq. of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes, may provide insurance for any purpose by any one or more of the methods specified in this section. The pooling of self-insured reserves, claims or losses among said entities as authorized in this act shall not be construed to be transacting insurance nor otherwise subject to the provisions of the laws of this state regulating insurance or insurance companies. Two or more said entities may also be insured under a master policy or contract of insurance. Premium costs may be set individually for each entity or apportioned among participating entities as provided by the master policy or contract.