Justia Transportation Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Texas
SANDERS v. THE BOEING COMPANY (U.S. Fifth Circuit 22-20317)
The Supreme Court of Texas, in this case, addressed two questions relating to the interpretation of Section 16.064(a) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The questions pertained to the application of this statute when a case is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, but the court could have had jurisdiction had the claimants properly pleaded the jurisdictional facts and when the subsequent action is to be filed within 60 days after the dismissal becomes final.The first question was whether Section 16.064(a) applies when the prior court dismissed the action because of lack of jurisdiction, but the court would have had jurisdiction if the claimants had properly pleaded the jurisdictional facts. The Supreme Court of Texas answered in the affirmative, concluding that the statute applies even if the prior court could have had jurisdiction, as long as it dismissed the action due to a perceived lack of jurisdiction.The second question was whether the subsequent action was filed within sixty days after the dismissal became final. The Supreme Court of Texas also answered this question in the affirmative, holding that a dismissal or other disposition becomes final under Section 16.064(a)(2) when the parties have exhausted their appellate remedies and the courts' power to alter the dismissal has ended.The factual background of the case involved two flight attendants who alleged that they were injured when a smoke detector on a flight malfunctioned. They initially filed a suit against The Boeing Company in a federal district court in Houston, then refiled their claims in a federal district court in Dallas. After the Dallas district court dismissed the case due to a lack of jurisdiction (based on inadequate pleading of diversity jurisdiction), the flight attendants appealed. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal, and the flight attendants subsequently refiled their claims in state court. Boeing then moved to dismiss the action based on the two-year statute of limitations. The Houston district court granted the motion and dismissed the suit, leading to the certified questions. View "SANDERS v. THE BOEING COMPANY (U.S. Fifth Circuit 22-20317)" on Justia Law
Christ v. Tex. Dep’t of Transportation
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Plaintiffs' claim against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) alleging premises liability based on the condition of a construction zone, holding that Plaintiffs failed to establish a waiver of sovereign immunity under the Tort Claims Act.On a late while traveling through a roadway construction site, Plaintiffs - a motorcyclist and his wife - collided with a vehicle that crossed into their lane. Plaintiffs sued several parties, including TxDOT, alleging that the demarcation of opposing travel lanes with painted yellow stripes and buttons instead of concrete barriers, a condition called for in the project's traffic-control plan, created an unreasonably dangerous condition, causing their injuries. TxDOT filed a plea to the jurisdiction and motion for summary judgment, which the trial court denied. The court of appeals reversed and dismissed for want of jurisdiction, ruling that TxDOT retained its immunity from suit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs failed to create a fact issue regarding an essential element of their premises-defect claim: the existence of an unreasonably dangerous condition. View "Christ v. Tex. Dep't of Transportation" on Justia Law
Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the ruling of the trial court that two private entities behind a high-speed rail between Houston and Dallas did not qualify as either railroad companies or interurban electric railway companies entitled to eminent-domain authority, holding that the entities had eminent-domain power as interurban electric railway companies.The owner of real property located along the proposed railway route sought a declaratory judgment that the two private entities lacked eminent-domain authority. The trial court granted summary judgment for the landowner. The court of appeals reversed, determining that the entities had eminent-domain power as both railroad companies and interurban electric railway companies. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the private entities had eminent-domain authority under Chapter 131 of the Texas Transportation Code. View "Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc." on Justia Law