Leadership

Interpretation of the Law Regarding Liability for Compensation

Issue 1 and Volume 86.

Interpretation of the Law Regarding Liability for Compensation MUNICIPAL liability for compensation may arise from adverse verdicts in suits filed by injured citizens or employees under certain circumstances. It is well known, however, that a municipality never is liable under common law for injuries caused while its employees are performing governmental duties, such as operation and conduction of its Fire Department. This rule is applicable because duties of this nature are performed without compensation to such department. On the other hand, a valid state law, or properly authorized city ordinance, may obligate the city to pay compensation, as pensions or compensation for injuries, where under the common law no such liability could exist. Therefore, in many instances the liability of a municipality for payment of compensation depends upon the legal interpretation of a state law or city ordinance. Obviously, any person or employee who fails to comply with a valid…

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