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Governmental Liability: D.C. Sovereign Immunity

When a city employee acts negligently and harms or kills a resident of Washington D.C., those affected by this negligence expect to be able to hold the District government liable. Unfortunately, District residents could lose this right. Mayor Anthony Williams has submitted legislation to the D.C. City Council proposing a $250,000 cap on liability for all non-medical damages caused by D.C. governmental employees. Public Citizen is leading consumer opposition to this proposal because we believe it will reduce incentives for city agencies and employees - whether police, healthcare personnel, or prison guards - to exercise due care for the safety of the District's residents.

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