The limitations prescribed in this chapter shall apply to actions brought in the name or for the benefit of any county or other municipality or quasimunicipality of the state, in the same manner as to actions brought by private parties: PROVIDED, That, except as provided in RCW 4.16.310
, there shall be no limitation to actions brought in the name or for the benefit of the state, and no claim of right predicated upon the lapse of time shall ever be asserted against the state: AND FURTHER PROVIDED, That no previously existing statute of limitations shall be interposed as a defense to any action brought in the name or for the benefit of the state, although such statute may have run and become fully operative as a defense prior to February 27, 1903, nor shall any cause of action against the state be predicated upon such a statute.
[1986 c 305 § 701; 1955 c 43 § 2. Prior: 1903 c 24 § 1; Code 1881 § 35; 1873 p 10 §§ 34, 35; 1869 p 10 §§ 34, 35; 1854 p 364 § 9; RRS § 167, part.]
Preamble—1986 c 305: "Tort law in this state has generally been developed by the courts on a case-by-case basis. While this process has resulted in some significant changes in the law, including amelioration of the harshness of many common law doctrines, the legislature has periodically intervened in order to bring about needed reforms. The purpose of this chapter is to enact further reforms in order to create a more equitable distribution of the cost and risk of injury and increase the availability and affordability of insurance.
The legislature finds that counties, cities, and other governmental entities are faced with increased exposure to lawsuits and awards and dramatic increases in the cost of insurance coverage. These escalating costs ultimately affect the public through higher taxes, loss of essential services, and loss of the protection provided by adequate insurance. In order to improve the availability and affordability of quality governmental services, comprehensive reform is necessary.
The legislature also finds comparable cost increases in professional liability insurance. Escalating malpractice insurance premiums discourage physicians and other health care providers from initiating or continuing their practice or offering needed services to the public and contribute to the rising costs of consumer health care. Other professionals, such as architects and engineers, face similar difficult choices, financial instability, and unlimited risk in providing services to the public.
The legislature also finds that general liability insurance is becoming unavailable or unaffordable to many businesses, individuals, and nonprofit organizations in amounts sufficient to cover potential losses. High premiums have discouraged socially and economically desirable activities and encourage many to go without adequate insurance coverage.
Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to reduce costs associated with the tort system, while assuring that adequate and appropriate compensation for persons injured through the fault of others is available." [1986 c 305 § 100.]
Report to legislature—1986 c 305: "The insurance commissioner shall submit a report to the legislature by January 1, 1991, on the effects of this act on insurance rates and the availability of insurance coverage and the impact on the civil justice system." [1986 c 305 § 909.]
Application—1986 c 305: "Except as provided in sections 202 and 601 of this act and except for section 904 of this act, this act applies to all actions filed on or after August 1, 1986." [1986 c 305 § 910.]
Severability—1986 c 305: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1986 c 305 § 911.]