I saw a newscast on the probation officer who was recently shot and killed in Jackson, Georgia during a training accident. The incident occurred at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Training Facility. It is a violation of industry standards and numerous policies and procedures to use live ammunition during a training exercise. While it is clear that the trainer was negligent in this case, there will be two significant obstacles for the womanâ€™s family to recover for her death. First, if the trainer was employed by the same employer as the probation officer, the employer will raise the workerâ€™s compensation bar as a defense to any claim. Under workerâ€™s compensation law, there is only a limited recovery for the death of an individual, much less than allowed under the Georgia Wrongful Death Statute. Second, if the trainer was a governmental employee, then the recovery will be limited by the Georgia Tort Claims Act (â€śGTCAâ€ť) to $1 million dollars. There are several notice and procedural requirements to obtaining a recovery under the GTCA. I hope for the familyâ€™s sake that the trainer was not a governmental employee and was working for an outside training company.
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