Lawsuits against Oregon state and local governments could get bigger under a bill approved by the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee.
The proposal, Senate Bill 311, would increase government liability caps to boost the maximum amount of money a jury can award for injuries caused by government negligence.
The bill resulted from a 2007 Oregon Supreme Court ruling that the current $200,000 cap was inadequate to meet the needs of a boy who suffered brain damage from medical negligence at Oregon Health & Science University.
Under the proposal, the cap increases $100,000 a year to a maximum of $1.5 million by 2015 for individual claims against state government, $3 million for all claims from a single incident. After that, the amounts are indexed to inflation.
Cities, counties, school boards and special districts are subject to lower caps.
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