Insurance claims paid to those injured by state negligence totaled $8M over last four years

From 2014 through 2017, Tennessee state government has paid more than 2,000 insurance claims totaling almost $8 million to people suffering damages, injuries and even death due to the state’s negligence, reports WJHL TV.

State records show almost $3 million of the nearly $8 million worth of claims paid out by the state’s insurance fund stem from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“We’re the state agency that seems to have direct impact or direct relationship with the public on a daily basis,” TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi said of the reason there is likely so many claims against the agency.

That direct impact includes 3,000 TDOT trucks in charge of 15,000 highway miles.

……Since 2014, almost 8,000 people have filed almost $25 million worth of claims in Tennessee. Of those, the state’s paid $7,983,000 of the claims. The majority of the paid claims, $5 million worth, were the result of negligent operation of vehicles and machinery, according to state records.

Records show some employees are disciplined when they’re found to be negligent, but King said the individual agencies make that decision.

For example, state records show in a case near Chattanooga, a state trooper is still working today after admitting in 2016, he didn’t notice a man on a motorcycle before it was too late, crashing into him and killing the man. The state paid his family $275,000, according to claim records.

Claims data show the Tennessee Department of Safety paid out the second most claims behind TDOT with more than $600,000 since 2014, followed by the University of Tennessee Knoxville Campus with roughly $371,000 in paid claims.

The article gives several examples of claims paid, which under state law can be no more than $300,000 to an individual. The most expensive claim listed was $600,000 — presumably $300,000 each — paid to two persons severely injured when a TDOT driver hit a motorcycle.

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