quick facts

Nevada broadly waives sovereign immunity but implements strict damages caps to limit recovery against the government entities or their employees. The Nevada Tort Claims Act (“NTCA”) provides that the State, its agencies, and political subdivisions are liable “in accordance with the same rules of law as are applied to civil actions against natural persons and corporations.” 1 Although municipalities do not technically fall under the NTCA’s definition of “political subdivisions,” Nevada courts have applied the statute to municipalities. 2

Government employees are liable for their own torts but enjoy immunity for discretionary functions and the exercise of due care “in the execution of a statute or regulation.” 3 A special provision also immunizes firefighters and police officers for negligent acts or omissions unless: “1) The firefighter, officer or other person made a specific promise or representation to a natural person who relied upon the promise or representation to the person’s detriment; or 2) The conduct of the firefighter, officer or other person affirmatively caused the harm.” 4 These immunities apply not only to the government employees, but also to the government employer. Government employees are indemnified for acts committed within the scope of employment unless they do not cooperate with the defense or the act or omission they committed was wanton or malicious. 5

Compared to other states, Nevada has one of the strictest damages limits in its tort claims act. All claims against government entities and government officers or employees are capped at $150,000. 6 This damages cap appears to include claims for the wanton or malicious acts of government employees.