Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]

  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 3.6. CLAIMS AND ACTIONS AGAINST PUBLIC ENTITIES AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES [810 - 998.3]

  ( Division 3.6 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1681. )

PART 8. SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND BAY BRIDGE AND I-880 CYPRESS STRUCTURE DISASTER RELIEF [997 - 997.6]
  ( Part 8 added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. )

997.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that, in order to aid the victims of the collapse of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the I-880 Cypress structure caused by the October 17, 1989, earthquake, it is necessary to create a special fund for payment of personal property, personal injury, and death claims arising from that disaster.

It is the purpose of this part to compensate personal injury or death victims of the Bay Bridge and I-880 Cypress structure collapse without regard to legal liability, fault, or responsibility, and without the necessity of litigation against the State of California or its agencies, officers, or employees. It is the further intent of the Legislature that all valid claims shall be paid fairly and promptly. Nothing in this part shall be construed as an admission of legal liability, responsibility, or fault on the part of the State of California or any of its agencies, officers or employees.

(Added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. Effective November 7, 1989.)

997.1.
  

(a) Any person may file an application with the Department of General Services for compensation based on personal property loss, personal injury, or death, including noneconomic loss, arising from the Bay Bridge or I-880 Cypress structure collapse caused by the October 17, 1989, earthquake. Any application made pursuant to this section shall be presented to the department no later than April 18, 1990, on forms prescribed and provided by the department, except that a late claim may be presented to the department pursuant to the procedure specified by Section 911.4. Each presented application shall be verified under penalty of perjury and shall contain all of the following information:

(1) The name of the injured party or in the event of loss of life, the name and age of the decedent and the names and ages of heirs as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(2) An authorization permitting the department to obtain relevant medical and employment records.

(3) A brief statement describing when, where, and how the injury or death occurred.

(4) A statement as to whether the applicant wishes to apply for emergency relief provided pursuant to Section 997.2.

(b) Upon receipt of an application, the department shall evaluate the application and may require the applicant to submit additional information or documents that are necessary to verify and evaluate the application. The department shall resolve an application within six months from the date of presentation of the application unless this period of time is extended by mutual agreement between the department and the applicant. Any application that is not resolved within this resolution period shall be deemed denied.

(c) Following resolution of an application, if the applicant desires to pursue additional remedies otherwise provided by this division, the applicant shall file a court action within six months of the mailing date of the department’s rejection or denial of the application or the applicant’s rejection of the department’s offer.

(d) Any claim pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) made before or after the effective date of this part for personal property loss, personal injury, or death resulting from the collapse of the Bay Bridge or the I-880 Cypress structure against the State of California, its agencies, officers, or employees, shall be deemed to be an application under this part and subject to the provisions set forth in this part. Additionally, any application made pursuant to this part shall be deemed to be in compliance with Part 3 (commencing with Section 900).

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, resolution of applications pursuant to the provisions of this part is a condition precedent to the filing of any action for personal property loss, personal injury, or death resulting from the collapse of the Bay Bridge or the I-880 Cypress structure in any court of the State of California against the State of California, its agencies, officers, or employees. Any suit filed by an applicant in any court of this state against the State of California or its agencies, officers, or employees shall be stayed pending resolution of the application.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 56. (SB 836) Effective June 27, 2016.)

997.2.
  

The application of any individual who was injured as a result of the collapse of the Bay Bridge or I-880 Cypress structure caused by the October 17, 1989, earthquake, and any surviving spouse, child, dependent adult offspring, or dependent parent of any individual killed as a result of that collapse, may include a request for emergency payment. Upon the determination that the applicant is eligible, the board or its designee shall award emergency payments in the following amounts:

Death of spouse

$50,000

Death of parent by dependent minor

$50,000

Death of parent by dependent adult offspring

$50,000

Death of adult offspring by dependent parent

$25,000

Death of dependent minor

$25,000

Loss of income and medical expenses incurred
by injured person


up to $25,000

The maximum award to members of an immediate family pursuant to this section based on any one death shall not exceed two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000). If the aggregate amount of individual payments for members of an immediate family pursuant to this section would otherwise exceed this amount, each individual shall share in this maximum amount proportionately.

Payments made pursuant to this section shall constitute an offset against any amounts received under Section 997.3 as well as any amount which may be received from the state as a result of litigation in the courts of this state. Payments made pursuant to this section shall not constitute an admission of liability nor be admissible as evidence in any court action.

No attorney or other representative shall accept any fee or other compensation for representing any applicant under Section 997.2 unless the compensation is authorized by a superior court upon a finding of exceptional circumstances.

(Added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. Effective November 7, 1989.)

997.3.
  

(a) If the board determines that an applicant pursuant to this part is eligible for compensation, and upon receipt of all information it deems necessary to evaluate the applicant’s loss, the board shall make an offer in an amount it deems to be just compensation, subject to the approval of the Director of Finance. The board shall appoint a person to facilitate the settlement process provided in this section, provided that the presiding judge of the Alameda County Superior Court may reject any appointment within 30 days of notice of the appointment.

(b) The offer shall be made to the applicant in writing who shall either accept or reject the offer in writing within 30 days of receipt thereof. Failure to respond to the offer shall be deemed a rejection. If the applicant accepts the offer, all other legal remedies are waived as against the State of California and its agencies, officers, and employees. If the applicant rejects the offer, all other legal remedies may be pursued against the State of California or its agencies, officers, or employees as otherwise provided in this division.

(Added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. Effective November 7, 1989.)

997.4.
  

For the purpose of computing the time limits applicable to the date of the accrual of a cause of action against any party, other than the State of California, to a court action related to the facts giving rise to a claim subject to this part, the date of accrual of a cause of action shall be deemed to be the mailing date of the board’s rejection or denial of an application or the applicant’s rejection of an offer, notwithstanding any other date of accrual that might otherwise have been applicable.

(Added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. Effective November 7, 1989.)

997.5.
  

There is hereby created within the State Treasury the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and I-880 Cypress Structure Disaster Fund for the purpose of paying, pursuant to this part, personal property, personal injury, and death claims against the State of California or its agencies, officers, or employees, arising from the collapse of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the I-880 Cypress structure on October 17, 1989. Notwithstanding Section 13440, moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the Department of Finance without regard to fiscal years for the purpose of paying awards made pursuant to this part.

(Added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. Effective November 7, 1989.)

997.6.
  

The board may adopt regulations pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 to implement this part. The adoption of the regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare. Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2, regulations adopted by the office in order to implement this section shall not be subject to the review and approval of the Office of Administrative Law. These regulations shall become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.

(Added by Stats. 1989, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 22, Sec. 1. Effective November 7, 1989.)

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