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A Better Partnership
January 18, 2013

COA Opinion: Government liable for car-accident victim's lost wages and service expenses

In Hannay v Department of Transportation, an employee of the Department of Transportation failed to obey a stop sign and hit Heather Lynn Hannay. Hannay was seriously injured and sued the Department. Hannay sought damages for lost wages and service expenses allowed by the No-Fault Act. The Department argued that the Government Tort Liability Act ('GTLA') barred Hannay from recovering such damages, because the GTLA only permits plaintiffs to recover damages for 'bodily injury' or 'property damage.' The Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed the trial court's ruling that such damages were allowed. The Court held that the lost-wages and service damages that Hannay sought were a species of damages recoverable because of bodily injury, and so were permitted by the GTLA. The Court also upheld the trial court's factual finding regarding the amount of Hannay's lost wages.

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