Beware of indemnity ordinances

A recent case suggests municipalities should be cautious when drafting ordinances that provide indemnity to officers and employees. In Kershaw v. City of Kansas City, No. WD76864 (Mo. App. May 6, 2014), one city employee was injured by another while they were operating snow plows for the city. The court held that the city’s indemnification ordinance, which was mandatory, required the city to pay the judgment the injured employee obtained against the other employee. Accordingly, cities with ordinances that mandate indemnification of employees and officers may wish to reconsider whether it should instead be at the city’s option, and whether they should specifically exclude indemnification for co-employee liability.

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