Chang v. County of Los Angeles

A governmental entity that defended its employee under a proper reservation of rights need not indemnify the employee for punitive damages awarded against him.  Per Gov. Code 825.2, a governmental entity is not required to indemnify its employee if it defended the employee under a reservation of rights and the employee is found to have acted in the scope of his employment but with actual malice.  Here, Los Angeles defended three deputy sheriffs under such a reservation of rights.  The jury found that the deputies had pepper-sprayed the plaintiff in the genitals with actual malice, awarding punitive damages against them.  Accordingly, Los Angeles was not required to indemnify the deputies.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5 (Kriegler, J.); July 1, 2016; 2016 WL 3574063

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