A. The legislature recognizes the inherently unfair and inequitable results which occur in the strict application of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. On the other hand, the legislature recognizes that while a private party may readily be held liable for his torts within the chosen ambit of his activity, the area within which the government has the power to act for the public good is almost without limit, and therefore government should not have the duty to do everything that might be done. Consequently, it is declared to be the public policy of New Mexico that governmental entities and public employees shall only be liable within the limitations of the Tort Claims Act and in accordance with the principles established in that act.
Terms Used In New Mexico Statutes 41-4-2
- Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
B. The Tort Claims Act shall be read as abolishing all judicially-created categories such as “governmental” or “proprietary” functions and “discretionary” or “ministerial” acts previously used to determine immunity or liability. Liability for acts or omissions under the Tort Claims Act shall be based upon the traditional tort concepts of duty and the reasonably prudent person’s standard of care in the performance of that duty. The Tort Claims Act in no way imposes a strict liability for injuries upon governmental entities or public employees. Determination of the standard of care required in any particular instance should be made with the knowledge that each governmental entity has financial limitations within which it must exercise authorized power and discretion in determining the extent and nature of its activities.