§31.6 Immunity of Employees From Judgment
The Case: Hill v. City of Germantown, 31 S.W.3d 234 (Tenn. 2000).
The Basic Facts: Men who lost their wives in a high-speed police case sued police officers and City of Germantown.
The Bottom Line:
- "Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-310(b) precludes the entry of a judgment against the employee when the governmental entity's immunity from suit has been removed pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 29-20-202 -205." 31 S.W.3d at 235.
Other Sources of Note: The statute provides only two exceptions to this general rule - licensed nurses and doctors. Here is the exact language of the relevant statute:
No claim may be brought against an employee or judgment entered against an employee for damages for which the immunity of the governmental entity is removed by this chapter unless the claim is one for medical malpractice brought against a health care practitioner. No claim for medical malpractice may be brought against a health care practitioner or judgment entered against a health care practitioner for damages for which the governmental entity is liable under this chapter, unless the amount of damages sought or judgment entered exceeds the minimum limits set out in § 29-20-403 or the amount of insurance coverage actually carried by the governmental entity, whichever is greater, and the governmental entity is also made a party defendant to the action. As used in this subsection (b), "health care practitioner" means physicians licensed under title 63, chapter 6, and nurses licensed under title 63, chapter 7.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-310(b). Of course, if the governmental entity is immune from suit, an employee who acts wrongfully is not immune from suit.
Recent Cases: Baker v. Snedegar, No. M2012-02348-COA-R9-CV, 2013 WL 5568424 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 8, 2013) (affirmed denial of summary judgment motion of medical legal examiner who claimed immunity under GTLA but could not prove she was paid by the payroll department of the governmental entity at issue).