Claims against a political subdivision - like a city hospital - are governed by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. The GIA's notice provision requires persons who claim to have been injured by a public entity or by its employee acting in the scope and course of his or her employment must file a written notice within 180 days after the date on which the person discovered the injury, regardless of whether the person then knew all of the elements of claim or a cause of action for such injury. The notice requirement is a jurisdictional prerequisite to any action brought under the GIA, and a plaintiff's failure to comply forever bars his or her action.
There is no form, but each notice of claim under the GIA must contain the following:
- The name and address of the claimant and the name and address of his attorney, if any;
- A concise statement of the factual basis of the claim, including the date, time, place, and circumstances of the act, omission, or event complained of;
- The name and address of any public employee involved, if known;
- A concise statement of the nature and extent of the injury claimed to have been suffered; and
- A statement of the amount of monetary damages requested.
The GIA also specifies with whom the notice must be filed to be valid. If the claim is against the state or one of its employees, the notice must be filed with the attorney general. If the claim is against any other public entity or one of its employees, the notice must be filed with the public entity's governing body or attorney.
Notice under the GIA is effective upon mailing by registered mail or upon personal service. If the claim is for wrongful death, the notice may be presented by the personal representative, surviving spouse, or next of kin of the deceased. This section does not alter Colorado's general statutes of limitation. If notice is given pursuant to the GIA's notice provision, no action shall be commenced until after the claimant has received notice from the public entity that the public entity has denied the claim or until after 90 days have passed following the filing of the notice of claim required by this section, whichever occurs first.
The GIA also sets the following limitations on the amount recoverable from public entities and employees:
- For any injury to one person in any single occurrence: $150,000.
- For an injury to two or more persons in any single occurrence: $600,000 with no one person allowed to recover in excess of $150,000.