Sovereign immunity is a legal principal that holds the government can’t be held liable in tort cases the same way individuals can unless a waiver is granted. F.S. 768.28 covers sovereign immunity waivers, and essentially allows the state and its agencies and subdivisions to be liable for tort claims the same way and to the same extent as private individuals under the same circumstances.
There are, however a number of caveats to this. For example, the state can’t be responsible to pay punitive damages or pre-judgment interest. Also, if any one claim exceeds $200,000 per person or $300,000 per occurrence, that amount has to be approved by the state legislature.
Still, it’s not uncommon for government agencies to assert protection by way of sovereign immunity in various tort actions, and sometimes they are successful. But what a recent case before the Texas Supreme Court held was that even if a government agency has sovereign immunity protection, government contractors can’t expect the same just because they were doing government work.