|Legal Opinion: |
Text of Document: April 3, 1995
You asked whether the city could require auxilary police officers to sign waivers releasing the city from any liability for their negligent conduct or omissions. It is my opinion that a court would not enforce such a waiver.
The Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act ("the TGTLA") clearly provides that cities may be liable for the negligent act or omission of any employee within the scope of his employment. An auxilary police officer is an employee under the statute. The act also clearly provides that if a municipality is liable under the act, then the employee may not be personally liable.
Generally, governmental entities, including cities, are immune from being sued. The TGTLA removes this immunity for certain types of actions, such as employee negligence. To allow cities to require employees to sign a waiver releasing the city's liability would turn the TGTLA inside-out. The purpose of the TGTLA is to protect the public from the negligence of the city's employees by holding the city responsible. A city may not defeat this purpose by requiring an auxilary policemen, or any other employee, to sign an agreement releasing the city from liability.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.