TriMet's news release after the settlement said it "accepted
responsibility for the negligent driving of the bus operator." TriMet
omitted to say that, by law, the responsibility it accepted was for a
fraction of the harm it actually caused.
Oregon state and local officials want these damage-responsibility
caps to protect their budgets from catastrophic claims. But that is the
job of umbrella insurance, which is the most inexpensive liability
insurance on the market
TriMet is a unit of local government, and the Oregon Tort Claims Act at
that time capped TriMet's liability at $500,000 per person and $1
million for all injuries and deaths resulting from one crash --
whichever is less.