15.4 Liability

(Amended 2/11)
  1. Claims. As a unit of the State of Iowa, The University of Iowa is subject to the Iowa Tort Claims Act (IC 669). Under the Act, claims for monetary damages may be filed against the state or a state employee because of property damage or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a state employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment. The Act covers claims arising under the Constitution, statutes, or rules of the United States, or of any state. Excluded claims are listed in Iowa Code 669.14.
  2. Liability protection. Under the Act, the state must defend any employee of the state, and, except in cases of willful and wanton acts, omissions, or malfeasance in office, hold harmless and indemnify any employee of the state against any tort claim on account of damages allegedly caused by an act or omission of such state employee acting within the scope of his or her office or employment. For purposes of the Act, state employees include faculty, staff, or other individuals acting on behalf of the University in a permanent, temporary, or full- or part-time position, whether compensated or uncompensated. The Act does not provide liability protection for contractors doing business with the University.
  3. Liability insurance — self-insurance. The University of Iowa, as a general practice, does not purchase commercial liability insurance, but instead, relies on statutory protection for claims against the University, its agents, and its employees.

    The University may purchase liability insurance or participate in self-insured liability pooling or other arrangements for medical professional liability, motor vehicle liability, or other liability if required by statute, contract, or special circumstance. Refer questions or requests for certificates regarding liability insurance and self-insurance programs to the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention.
  4. Small Tort Liability Claim Program. Tort liability claims are generally handled as provided in Chapter 669, State Tort Claims Act, by the State Attorney General's Office, Tort Claim Division. Under the provisions of a 28E Agreement with other state agencies, the University has authority to investigate and resolve certain small tort liability claims for settlements less than $4,000. Refer claims to the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention.

(See also IC 669.)