Absent evidence of an affiliation, notice to one governmental unit does not impute notice to another under the TTCA.
Arlean Green v. City of Houston, 01-14-00808-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] April 30, 2015)
This is a Texas Tort Claims Act (“TTCA”) slip and fall case where the First District Court of Appeals affirmed the granting of a plea to the jurisdiction.
Green tripped over a metal strip at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and injured her knee. She immediately reported the injury to the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”). Green asserts the City received actual notice under the TTCA through its agents at the TSA. It is undisputed Green did not provide any other notice within 90 days of her accident. The Houston Charter requires notice of an injury within 90 days. The City filed a plea to the jurisdiction for lack of statutory notice which the trial court granted and Green appealed.
The court held when an agent or representative of a governmental unit receives notice of an incident and has a duty to gather facts and report it, actual notice may be imputed to the governmental unit. However, TSA is a federal agency. Absent evidence of an affiliation, notice to one governmental unit does not impute notice to another. Since green did not introduce any evidence in response to the plea that the federal TSA was an agent of the City, the plea was properly granted.
If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Justice Keyes, Justice Bland and Justice Massengale. Memorandum Opinion by Justice Bland. The attorneys listed for Green are George Farah and Sarah Dionne. The attorneys listed for the City are Mary E Stevenson and David L. Red.