Substitute Senate Bill No. 1276

Public Act No. 99-60

An Act Concerning Claims Against the Commissioners of Public Health and Mental Retardation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 19a-24 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any claim for damages in excess of [one] seven thousand five hundred dollars on account of any official act or omission of the Commissioner of Public Health or the Commissioner of Mental Retardation or any member of their staffs, any member of the Council on Tuberculosis Control, Hospital Care and Rehabilitation, the Council on Mental Retardation or either of the boards of trustees of the state training schools or any member of any regional advisory and planning council or any superintendent, director, employee or staff member of any chronic disease hospital or state training school or state mental retardation region shall be brought as a civil action against the commissioners in their official capacities and said commissioners shall be represented therein by the Attorney General in the manner provided in chapter 35. Damages recovered in such action shall be a proper charge against the General Fund of the state and shall be paid in the manner provided in section 3-117. Any such claim for damages not in excess of [one] seven thousand five hundred dollars shall be presented to the Claims Commissioner in accordance with chapter 53 if such claim is otherwise cognizable by the Claims Commissioner.

(b) Neither the Commissioner of Public Health nor the Commissioner of Mental Retardation nor any member of their staffs, shall be held personally liable in any civil action for damages on account of any official act or omission of any superintendent, director, employee or staff member of any chronic disease hospital or state training school or state mental retardation region nor on account of any official act or omission of such commissioners or member of their staffs or any member of the councils or boards of trustees created by sections 17a-270 and 17a-271.

(c) No employee or staff member of said commissioners or any superintendent, director, employee or staff member of any chronic disease hospital or state training school or state mental retardation region shall be held personally liable in any civil action for damages on account of any official act or omission not wanton or wilful of such superintendent, director, employee or staff member.

(d) The state of Connecticut shall indemnify and save harmless each member of the councils or boards of trustees established by sections 17a-270, 17a-271 and 17a-273 from all claims and demands that may accrue or be asserted by reason of any act of such councils or boards of trustees or any failure to act by such councils or boards of trustees where no malice, fraud or conflict of interest is found to exist. The provisions of this section shall be deemed to apply individually to each member of such councils or boards of trustees.

(e) Any person to whom the provisions of subsection (b), (c) or (d) hereof are applicable and against whom any action shall be brought on account of any act alleged to be an official act or omission as aforesaid or any other act as to which protection is afforded by the provisions of this section shall be represented therein by the Attorney General in the manner provided in chapter 35.

Approved May 27, 1999

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