LOUIE LAWSON, REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF CAROLYN BURNS v. CITY OF DIBOLL, 15-0037 (Tex. September 18, 2015)
This is a recreation use statute case where the Texas Supreme Court reversed the granting of a plea to the jurisdiction and remanded back to the trial court.
The Diboll Youth Baseball League holds its games, at no charge to the league or spectators, at the City owned Old Orchard Park. Carolyn Burns attended her granddaughter’s softball game at the Park. While walking on a paved sidewalk, Burns tripped on a hollow pipe protruding from the center of the walkway and was injured. Burns sued and the City filed a plea to the jurisdiction which was denied but later granted by the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals did not have the Supreme Court’s opinion of University of Texas at Arlington v. Williams 459 S.W.3d 48, 55 (Tex. 2015) when it rendered its decision. In Williams the Texas Supreme Court held neither watching a competitive-sporting event nor related acts of egress are encompassed in the recreational use statute’s definition of “recreation.” As a result, the plea should not have been granted and the case was remanded.
If you would like to read this opinion click here. Per Curiam opinion. The attorneys for the City are Mr. Robert T. Cain Jr. and Ms. Erika L. Neill. The attorney for Lawson is Sammy Johnson II.