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Best Practice Templates: Target your Goals

Operational Best Practice template policies are regularly developed to assist members with their goals and objectives. Please take a moment to review the templates recently adopted by the Board of Directors:

  • Bikeway Design & Management Guideaddresses design and maintenance of bikeways, as well as how to protect applicable immunities. The Guide was developed in partnership with Alta Planning + Design and GL Defense Panel attorney Greg Rippetoe of Rippetoe Law.
  • Fall Protection & Ladder Safety Policy: developed in partnership with LAWCX, provides guidance on ladder safety, elevated platforms (scaffold) and surfaces (roof, catwalk, etc.), and vertical openings (trenches) as well as training and use of equipment. This policy is in response to a number of serious fall-related claims.
  • Basics of Workers' Compensation Guide: This Guide covers what a member "needs to know" when overseeing their workers’ compensation claim process at the agency level. We would like to thank the following business partners for their contributions: WC Defense Panel attorney Gerald Lenahan of Lenahan, Lee, Slater & PearseCarolyn Richard, Public Agencies Director, Law Offices of Stacey Tokunaga (WC Defense Panel); Julie Simpson, Division Manager, Athens; and Elizabeth George, PARSAC Claim Supervisor, Athens.
Please log in to the PARSAC website to access these templates and more.
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CAJPA: Whitepaper on SB 854 Implementation

In June 2014, California Senate Bill 854 changed the implementation and enforcement of public works projects for public agencies, grant recipients, and the contracting community. To assist members with these new requirements, CAJPA commissioned White Paper: SB 854 2014-2016 Implementation, which sets forth changes in the law, the staggered implementation schedule from June 20, 2014 through January 1, 2016, some of the challenges with the implementation, and recommended best practices moving forward into 2016.

Design Immunity for Public Agencies Clarified by California Supreme Court
Best Best & Krieger
By Christopher Pisano and Jamey Wyman


A crucial issue in public agency tort defense was recently clarified by the California Supreme Court in Hampton v. County of San Diego. While a public entity may be liable for a dangerous condition, design immunity could apply under specific circumstances (Government Code section 830.6). 

Hampton claimed the design and construction of the intersection where the accident occurred had inadequate visibility and failed to meet applicable design standards. The Court upheld the design immunity, concluding the "discretionary approval" component does not pertain to whether or not the approving employee was aware of or deviated from design standards. This decision is a broad affirmation of the discretionary approval provided by a qualified official (often a design engineer) to a reasonable design. It is also important because it shows that a public agency’s deliberative process and decision making is not open to interpretation and second-guessing by a jury.

Please remember, record keeping is extremely important. The design immunity defense is only available if an agency has design plans and as-built plans that reflect what was actually constructed, and the plans show there was discretionary approval by the agency. [Read full article]
Copyright © 2016 Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California, All rights reserved.

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