Justices Ponder Whether City's $5M Excess Insurance Voids Sovereign Immunity Claim
In a case involving three people killed by a fleeing car thief, the plaintiffs asked the Georgia Supreme Court to affirm lower court rulings that College Park's purchase of $5 million in liability insurance stripped it of sovereign immunity in cases where there were claims of greater than $700,000.
Following a welcome back to in-person proceedings by Chief Justice David Nahmias, the Georgia Supreme Court turned its attention to a potentially far-reaching dispute testing the limits of sovereign immunity for cities that purchase liability insurance above levels mandated by state law.
The families of three people killed when a suspect fleeing College Park police officers have sued, seeking the city’s $5 million combined policy limits, but the city and its insurer argue that Georgia law caps municipal liability at $500,000 for single-person claims and $700,000 for motor vehicle accidents involving two or more people.
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