Many people abide by the old adage: “You can’t beat city hall!” Cities and other municipalities and their representatives, such as police officers, generally enjoy protection against some lawsuits and prosecutions through hold-harmless laws. And city officials have greater access to judges, prosecutors, medical examiners, various inspectors and other personnel who can influence outcomes of trials, tickets and other types of civil proceedings, but that does not mean they aren’t liable for negligent and criminal acts. In many instances, a municipality or its representative will undertake actions that reasonable people in similar circumstances would not do, and that leads to legal liability for any damages, injuries or deaths caused.
Many City Construction Projects Can Be Dangerous
When local units of government undertake road improvements and other construction projects, they have a responsibility to protect workers and the general public from unsafe conditions and negligent acts that might lead to injuries or property damage. Something as simple as replacing a curb or putting in a new manhole cover must be done in such as way that the public are protected throughout the process against injuries and property damage. If the area is not properly marked off and reasonable steps taken to warn passersby of potential dangers, the contractor as well as the municipality that owns the property could be held liable for losses.
Municipalities Are Liable for Contractor Oversight
Just because a city or other municipality might hire a contractor who then hires subcontractors to do work does not mean that municipality is not liable for errors or negligence that results in injuries, damages or even death to others. Municipalities are responsible for ensuring the people they hire are capable of working safely and properly without creating undue dangers for the general public. So if a contractor makes a mistake that results causes injuries or other losses, the municipality in charge is just as responsible and can be held liable.
Have you ever noticed a dangerous city project in the works near your home or work?