Caps on damages against government employed physicians and hospitals.

Justice for the Seriously InjuredColorado has enacted damage caps in numerous statutes, with separate statutes governing claims against health care providers (Health Care Availability Act), and governmental entities and employees (Governmental Immunity Act).  This creates confusion as to which caps apply in the event you are injured by a government ‘cloaked’ physician (including most physicians at University of Colorado and Children’s Hospitals, Denver Health, etc.).

The Health Care Availability Act resolves the issue, wherein it specifically states:  “The limitations of this section are not applicable to a health care professional who is a public employee under the
“Colorado Governmental Immunity Act” and are not applicable to a certified health care institution which is a public entity under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”.

Thus, in cases under the Governmental Immunity Act, health care professionals or hospitals are not protected by the $300,000 cap on non-economic losses but are protected by the GIA and noneconomic damages caps.  

  1.  The overall cap on damages against governmental entities and employees is found in C.R.S. §24-10-109 (Governmental Immunity Act) limits damages to $350,000 per person or $900,000 per claim and,
  2. C.R.S. § 13-21-102.5 limits damages for noneconomic loss or injury (including grief in death actions) to $436,070 unless the court finds clear and convincing evidence to exceed the cap, then $936,030.

Thus, the cap structure is $350,000 per person, $436,070 to $936,003 for noneconomic losses, with an overall cap of $900,000 per occurrence regardless of the number of claimants.