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Alabama Tort Law
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

2-34 Alabama Tort Law 34.syn


Tort Claims against Municipalities and Other Governmental Entities


Gregory S. Cusimano;; Michael L. Roberts

Chapter Summary


This chapter from Alabama Tort Law covers tort claims against municipalities and other governmental entities. It begins with a discussion of the historical development of sovereign, or governmental, immunity, highlighting the cases that partially abolished the doctrine. The chapter then reviews residual immunity for suits other than those involving neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness. It further describes the doctrine of substantive immunity, explaining that this narrow area of operation of municipal immunity applies in the context of certain public service activities of governmental entities so laden with the public interest as to outweigh their incidental duty to individual citizens. The chapter also covers the application of municipal airport immunity.

Next, the chapter covers claim requirements for filing claims against municipalities, which involves presenting a written claim for damages for the tort within a specified timeframe. The chapter explains the types of claims and entities to which the claim requirements apply. The chapter further reviews the circumstances under which a plaintiff suing a municipality must also join other persons or corporations who may be liable. In addition, the chapter discusses the statutory "caps" limiting the amount of damages recoverable against a municipality.

Finally, the chapter examines the application of governmental immunity to specific entities and persons, including county boards of education, the State of Alabama, government officials and employees, and volunteers.

Alabama Tort Law (Matthew Bender) is the only truly comprehensive resource on tort law in Alabama. With expert discussion of proof requisites and defenses, it covers all the elements of each tort actionable under Alabama law. It provides the information necessary to determine if there is a case and what is needed to prove or defend it. Alabama Tort Law not only provides up-to-date coverage of relevant case law and analysis, it also includes comprehensive appendices with practical material, including checklists and sample complaints for frequently encountered topics.


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For a discussion of negligence, see Chapter 1, Negligence, and Chapter 3, Wantonness and Willfulness.

For a discussion of the liability of cities and counties with respect to highways, see Chapter 10, Negligence Liability for Highway Conditions.

For more information on damages, see Chapter 40, Compensatory Damages; Chapter 41, Compensatory Damages for Injured Property Interests; and Chapter 42, Punitive Damages.

For a discussion of statute of limitations requirements, see Chapter 46, Statute of Limitations.


See Antieau on Local Government Law, Second Edition (Matthew Bender) for comprehensive treatment of local government law, with coverage of municipal corporations, independent local government entities, counties, authorities and districts, and federal and state governments. It also includes coverage of police powers, contracts, torts, civil rights, education, land use, finances, and elections.

See Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, Damages (Matthew Bender) for the largest and most comprehensive case law compendium in legal literature, with encyclopedic treatment of the personal injury law of every American jurisdiction and coverage of theories of recovery, elements of causes of action, necessary allegations, defenses, and damages.

See Personal Injury Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender) for a discussion of a wide range of the substantive and practical legal problems faced by defense counsel, along with suggestions for the best ways to remedy them, with coverage of such topics as insurance defense, liquor liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts, and damages.

See Damages in Tort Actions (Matthew Bender) for in-depth legal and policy analyses of compensatory and punitive damages in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage cases, plus case annotations to all jurisdictions and examples of illustrative awards and settlements.

See Punitive Damages (Matthew Bender) for coverage of the latest developments in punitive damages law, along with state-by-state analysis of tort reform and a wide range of pretrial, trial, and post-trial strategies.
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