Initial approval given to Colorado bill increasing state liability for injuries

DENVER - Colorado lawmakers have given initial approval a bill that increases the state's liability when the government is responsible for injuries.

The bill was in response to the Lower North Fork Fire, caused by the Colorado Forest Service.

Scott Appel, widower of one of the three people killed in the fire, testified in favor of the increase as he held a picture of his wife, Ann. 

Under current state law, Colorado is only liable for $600,000 for all victims and no more than $150,000 for any single victim.

The new bill increases those limits to $990,000 for all victims and no more than $350,000 for a single victim.

The bill will not help the victims of the Lower North Fork Fire, however.

"I'm left in a position where I have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to beg for some restitution," Appel testified.

As 7NEWS first reported Tuesday night, we're reviewing all claims from the Lower North Fork Fire.  The ones we've seen add up to more than $30 million.

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