CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons late Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have doubled the amount of money state and local governments could be required to pay in civil lawsuits.
Gibbons vetoed Senate Bill 66, which would have required governments to pay as much as $100,000 to settle civil lawsuits filed against them and their employees. The cap has been $50,000 since 1979.
“Senate Bill 66 is too much, too soon,” Gibbons said.
He told Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, that “some type of increase is undoubtedly appropriate, (but) increasing the tort cap by 100 percent is unnecessarily burdensome and fiscally harmful to government entities.”
Local governments estimated that the bill would cost them $2.5 million during the next two years if it became law.
Rural counties would be harmed, in particular, if they had to pay $100,000 to settle some damage suits, the governor said.
Gibbons said he would sign a bill that increased the limit in a “less mercurial fashion” if the Legislature could pass it in the waning days of the session. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn Monday night.
His concern about doubling the lawsuit limit was expressed during hearings by government lobbyists and some legislators.
The bill passed the Senate 14-7 and the Assembly 29-13, with most of the opposition coming from Republican legislators.2007 Nevada Legislature