|Posted:||December 2, 2016 11:00 AM|
|From:||Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Amendment to Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that would amend the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.
Several municipal water main breaks in and around my district have occurred over the last several years. One in particular left nearly one hundred households to file claims against the City of Philadelphia for losses to their homes and property. Currently, pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S.§8553, there is a $500,000 cap on the damages recoverable from the city. The $500,000 cap was instituted in 1980 and has not been reconsidered since.
In the case of the water main break, $500,000 would cover less than one quarter of the claims made by individual claimants. I am proposing to increase the municipal tort cap under this section to $2,000,000, with an annual adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Currently, any insurance benefits a claimant receives or is entitled to under a homeowners or other policy be deducted from the damages that could be considered recoverable from the municipality. I believe raising the cap will better protect property owners around the state from personal property damages that are not recoverable through their insurance policies.
This bill is similar to Senate Bill 896 and House Bill 689, sponsored by Representative Brian Sims, of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session.
Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as SB26