California civil litigation defense attorney David Newdorf discusses how public entities, like cities and municipalities, can be sued for their actions.
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The public entities engage in a lot of high risk and potential liability activities from public facilities like airports to police departments, jails, public streets. The public entities themselves though it’s quite clear under the law they’re not insurance companies and they’re not always liable for injuries that might result as a result of city operations, so in California, the law of public entity liability is strictly controlled by statute. And my experience in bringing these kind of injury cases to courts and to juries is that if we can show that the policies and procedures that were followed in a particular case were reasonable and appropriate even if injury results, the city won’t be found liable. And that’s the policy determination that’s been made by the legislature and that’s why these cases often end up favorably for the public entities and for the taxpayers.