Liability of Municipalities

Section 231:92

    231:92 Liability of Municipalities; Standard of Care. –
I. A municipality shall not be held liable for damages in an action to recover for personal injury or property damage arising out of its construction, maintenance, or repair of public highways and sidewalks constructed thereupon unless such injury or damage was caused by an insufficiency, as defined by RSA 231:90, and:
(a) The municipality received a written notice of such insufficiency as set forth in RSA 231:90, but failed to act as provided by RSA 231:91; or
(b) The selectmen, mayor or other chief executive official of the municipality, the town or city clerk, any on-duty police or fire personnel, or municipal officers responsible for maintenance and repair of highways, bridges, or sidewalks thereon had actual notice or knowledge of such insufficiency, by means other than written notice pursuant to RSA 231:90, and were grossly negligent or exercised bad faith in responding or failing to respond to such actual knowledge; or
(c) The condition constituting the insufficiency was created by an intentional act of a municipal officer or employee acting in the scope of his official duty while in the course of his employment, acting with gross negligence, or with reckless disregard of the hazard.
II. Any action to recover damages for bodily injury, personal injury or property damage arising out of municipal construction, repair or maintenance of its public highways or sidewalks constructed on such highways shall be dismissed unless the complaint describes with particularity the means by which the municipality received actual notice of the alleged insufficiency, or the intentional act which created the alleged insufficiency.
III. The acceptance or layout of a private road as a public highway shall not be construed to confer upon the municipality any notice of, or liability for, insufficiencies or defects which arose or were created prior to such layout or acceptance.
IV. The setting of construction, repair, or maintenance standards or levels of service for highways and sidewalks by municipal officials with responsibility therefor, whether accomplished formally or informally, shall be deemed a discretionary, policy function for which the municipality shall not be held liable in the absence of malice or bad faith.

Source. RS 57:1. CS 61:1, 7. GS 69:1, 2. GL 75:1, 2. PS 76:1. 1893, 59:1. 1915, 48:1. 1921, 107:1. 1925, 52:2, 4. PL 89.1. 1935, 118:1. RL 105:1. 1945, 188:1, part 18:17. RSA 247:17. 1981, 87:1. 1991, 385:5, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.