Wisconsin Statutes Limitation of Actions (Ch. 893) § 893.80. Claims against governmental bodies or officers, agents or employees; notice of injury; limitation of damages and suits

(1b) In this section, “agent” includes a volunteer.  In this subsection, “volunteer” means a person who satisfies all of the following:

(a) The person provides services or performs duties for and with the express or implied consent of a volunteer fire company organized under ch. 181 or 213, political corporation, or governmental subdivision or agency thereof.  A person satisfies the requirements under this paragraph even if the activities of the person with regard to the services and duties and the details and method by which the services are provided and the duties are performed are left to the discretion of the person.

(b) The person is subject to the right of control of the volunteer company, political corporation, or governmental subdivision or agency described in par. (a).

(c) The person is not paid a fee, salary, or other compensation by any person for the services or duties described in par. (a).  In this paragraph, “compensation” does not include the reimbursement of expenses.

(1d) Except as provided in subs. (1g), (1m), (1p) and (8), no action may be brought or maintained against any volunteer fire company organized under ch. 213, political corporation, governmental subdivision or agency thereof nor against any officer, official, agent or employee of the corporation, subdivision or agency for acts done in their official capacity or in the course of their agency or employment upon a claim or cause of action unless:

(a) Within 120 days after the happening of the event giving rise to the claim, written notice of the circumstances of the claim signed by the party, agent or attorney is served on the volunteer fire company, political corporation, governmental subdivision or agency and on the officer, official, agent or employee under s. 801.11 .  Failure to give the requisite notice shall not bar action on the claim if the fire company, corporation, subdivision or agency had actual notice of the claim and the claimant shows to the satisfaction of the court that the delay or failure to give the requisite notice has not been prejudicial to the defendant fire company, corporation, subdivision or agency or to the defendant officer, official, agent or employee;  and

(b) A claim containing the address of the claimant and an itemized statement of the relief sought is presented to the appropriate clerk or person who performs the duties of a clerk or secretary for the defendant fire company, corporation, subdivision or agency and the claim is disallowed.  

(1g) Notice of disallowance of the claim submitted under sub. (1d) shall be served on the claimant by registered or certified mail and the receipt therefor, signed by the claimant, or the returned registered letter, shall be proof of service.  Failure of the appropriate body to disallow a claim within 120 days after presentation of the written notice of the claim is a disallowance.  No action on a claim under this section against any defendant fire company, corporation, subdivision or agency nor against any defendant officer, official, agent or employee, may be brought after 6 months from the date of service of the notice of disallowance, and the notice of disallowance shall contain a statement to that effect.

(1m) With regard to a claim to recover damages for medical malpractice, the provisions of sub. (1d) do not apply.  The time periods that apply for commencing an action under this section for damages for medical malpractice are the time periods under ss. 893.55(1m) , (2) , and (3) and 893.56 .

(1p) No action may be brought or maintained with regard to a claim to recover damages against any political corporation, governmental subdivision or agency thereof for the negligent inspection of any property, premises, place of employment or construction site for the violation of any statute, rule, ordinance or health and safety code unless the alleged negligent act or omission occurred after November 30, 1976.  In any such action, the time period under sub. (1d)(a) shall be one year after discovery of the negligent act or omission or the date on which, in the exercise of reasonable diligence the negligent act or omission should have been discovered.

(1t) Only one action for property damage may be brought under sub. (1p) by 2 or more joint tenants of a single-family dwelling.

(2) The claimant may accept payment of a portion of the claim without waiving the right to recover the balance.  No interest may be recovered on any portion of a claim after an order is drawn and made available to the claimant.  If in an action the claimant recovers a greater sum than was allowed, the claimant shall recover costs, otherwise the defendant shall recover costs.

(3) Except as provided in this subsection, the amount recoverable by any person for any damages, injuries or death in any action founded on tort against any volunteer fire company organized under ch. 181 or 213, political corporation, governmental subdivision or agency thereof and against their officers, officials, agents or employees for acts done in their official capacity or in the course of their agency or employment, whether proceeded against jointly or severally, shall not exceed $50,000.  The amount recoverable under this subsection shall not exceed $25,000 in any such action against a volunteer fire company organized under ch. 181 or 213 or its officers, officials, agents or employees.  If a volunteer fire company organized under ch. 181 or 213 is part of a combined fire department, the $25,000 limit still applies to actions against the volunteer fire company or its officers, officials, agents or employees.  No punitive damages may be allowed or recoverable in any such action under this subsection.

(4) No suit may be brought against any volunteer fire company organized under ch. 213, political corporation, governmental subdivision or any agency thereof for the intentional torts of its officers, officials, agents or employees nor may any suit be brought against such corporation, subdivision or agency or volunteer fire company or against its officers, officials, agents or employees for acts done in the exercise of legislative, quasi-legislative, judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

(5) Except as provided in this subsection, the provisions and limitations of this section shall be exclusive and shall apply to all claims against a volunteer fire company organized under ch. 213, political corporation, governmental subdivision or agency or against any officer, official, agent or employee thereof for acts done in an official capacity or the course of his or her agency or employment.  When rights or remedies are provided by any other statute against any political corporation, governmental subdivision or agency or any officer, official, agent or employee thereof for injury, damage or death, such statute shall apply and the limitations in sub. (3) shall be inapplicable.

(6) A 1st class city, its officers, officials, agents or employees shall not be liable for any claim for damages to person or property arising out of any act or omission in providing or failing to provide police services upon the interstate freeway system or in or upon any grounds, building or other improvement owned by a county and designated for stadium or airport purposes and appurtenant uses.

(7) No suit may be brought against the state or any governmental subdivision or agency thereof or against any officer, official, agent or employee of any of those entities who, in good faith, acts or fails to act to provide a notice to a property owner that a public nuisance under s. 823.113(1) or (1m)(b) exists.

(8) This section does not apply to actions commenced under s. 19.37 , 19.97 , or 281.99 or to claims against the interstate insurance product regulation commission.

(9) The procurement or maintenance of insurance or self-insurance by a volunteer fire company organized under ch. 181 or 213, political corporation, or governmental subdivision or agency thereof, irrespective of the extent or type of coverage or the persons insured, shall not do any of the following:

(a) Constitute a waiver of the provisions of this section.

(b) Be relied upon to deny a person status as an officer, official, agent, or employee of the volunteer fire company, political corporation, or governmental subdivision or agency thereof.


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