The Risk Management Division of the Department of Central Services for the State of Oklahoma is, in essence, the insurance carrier for SWOSU as well as other state agencies.
If a tort (legal wrong) is committed against a third party, that party can seek to recover damages by filing a claim with the Risk Management Division.
As employees of a state agency, we should be aware of areas that are risk exposures. A study by an independent risk management consultant revealed the following as exposures state agencies should be concerned about:
DISCRIMINATION AND OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS
BOAT OR WATERCRAFT
WRITTEN AND ORAL CONTRACTS
ERRORS AND OMISSIONS
Coverage provided by the Governmental Tort Claims Act may be waived if an employee IS NOT ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT, OR REFUSES TO COOPERATE WITH INVESTIGATIONS OF LIABILITY INCIDENTS.
If we, as employees of SWOSU, are involved in an accident or if we witness an incident in which a possible tort may have been committed against a third party, Risk Management recommends:
- If possible, ensure the personal safety of individuals involved and take steps to prevent further damage to state property.
- DISCOURAGE speculative comments by employees at the scene. Make NO statements concerning assumption of liability. Give out only information required by authorities. DO NOT sign any statement except for one from an authorized representative of the RISK MANAGEMENT DIVISION.
- Call our Campus Police (ext. 3111) or my office (ext. 3103) as soon as possible after the incident. Or, call the state risk management office (405-521-4999) day or night if you cannot reach either of the above. If you call the state, contact the DPS or my office as soon as possible thereafter.
- If an accident occurs in a SWOSU vehicle, please refer to the reporting guide, which is kept in each vehicle.
In the event a third party threatens an employee with litigation related to his or her employment, that employee should notify Human Resources or my office as soon as possible regarding such threat. Notification can be made through the employee’s supervisor or directly to Human Resources (774-3275) or Tom Willis (774-3103) or in person to either office.
Generally, coverage provided insures for actual or alleged “wrongful acts” which are defined as any breach of duty, neglect, error or misstatement, misleading statement, or act or omission by any employee in his or her capacity as such, committed solely in the course of one’s employment with, and the activities of, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, including but not limited to civil rights issues, libel, slander, defamation, or publication or utterance in violation of an individual’s right to privacy.