CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 14A. DEPUTY SHERIFFS' TORT LIABILITY.
§7-14A-1. Short title.
This article may be cited and referred to as the "West
Virginia Deputy Sheriffs' Tort Liability Act."
For the purpose of this article and as used in this article:
(a) "Deputy sheriffs" or "deputies" shall have the same
meaning as those terms are given in subdivision (2), subsection
(a), section two, article fourteen of this chapter, and shall, when
used in this article, be limited, except when specifically
authorized or when the context in which used clearly requires a
broader or different application and meaning, to those deputy
sheriffs serving under civil service protection pursuant to the
provisions of article fourteen of this chapter.
(b) "County commissions" shall mean the county commission, or
tribunal in lieu thereof, in counties wherein a civil service
system for deputy sheriffs is required to be in effect or wherein
such system is put into effect pursuant to article fourteen of this
(c) "Professional liability insurance" means an insuring
agreement wherein the insurer agrees, subject to policy agreements,
exclusions, conditions and limits, to pay all sums which the
insured deputy sheriff shall or may become legally obligated to pay
as damages because of bodily injury (including death) or property
damages sustained by others and caused by an occurrence and arising
out of such deputy sheriff's occupancy, maintenance or use of
official operations or conduct in the performance of official
§7-14A-3. County commission to purchase professional liability
insurance; limits; additional insurance authorized;
contribution from deputies.
Effective the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred
seventy-eight, the county commission of each county wherein the
provisions of this article are applicable, shall purchase a
professional liability insurance policy covering all deputy
sheriffs subject to this article, which policy shall provide for
minimum coverage of fifty thousand dollars for each person injured
or damaged in each occurrence and one hundred thousand dollars
total coverage for each occurrence. Every such policy shall be
written on an occurrence basis only. Such policy shall be paid for
out of the county general revenue fund. The county commission may
purchase additional coverage and, as to such additional coverage,
may pay all or any part of the premiums as it and its sole
discretion deems appropriate or, as to such additional coverage may
require contributions in whole or in part from the sheriff and from
the deputy sheriffs required to be covered by such insurance. Such
additional insurance may not be purchased and the premiums in whole
or in part paid by such deputies except with the consent of the
majority of the deputies to be covered thereby.
§7-14A-4. Liability of sheriff, county and county commission
Any other provision of this code or rule of law to the
contrary notwithstanding, on and after the first day of January,
one thousand nine hundred seventy-eight, no sheriff shall be held
jointly or severally liable on his official bond or otherwise for
any act or conduct of any deputies subject to the provisions of
this article committed on or after such date, except in cases where
such deputy is acting in the presence of and under the direct,
immediate and personal supervision of such sheriff, nor shall the
county commission of a county nor the county itself be held so
liable, and the liability of such sheriff, county or county
commission in such cases shall be no greater than would be the
liability of the superintendent of the department of public safety,
or such department or the state of West Virginia under the same or
substantially similar circumstances.