Washington Law Review


Scott J. Borth


Actions alleging municipal tort liability for negligent administration of building and zoning codes are part of the current judicial and legislative trend to abolish municipal tort immunity. In surveying how such actions are treated, this Comment briefly examines the historical background of governmental immunity. It then categorizes the states according to the scope of governmental tort immunity currently recognized. After establishing these categories, this Comment applies the law under each category to the facts of Preston v. City of Daniellville, the hypothetical case. It then analyzes the public duty defense raised by the municipality, focusing on the origin of the defense and on its continued use as a municipal defense to negligence actions. This Comment concludes by recommending one type of governmental tort claims act which best balances the equities between the injured individual and the municipality.

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