14th Court of Appeals in Houston holds TxDOT had actual notice of dangerous condition based on crash reports and information within record

Texas Department of Transportation v Singh, 14-20-00694-CV (Tex. App. — Houston [14th Dist.], August 11, 2022).

Singh sued the Texas Department of Transportation for negligence after his vehicle crashed on a roadway TxDOT had recently rebuilt. The new highway surface was very slick when wet, and it had been raining the day of the accident. According to the crash report, six other spin-out crashes occurred in the same area on the same day. TxDOT filed a plea to the jurisdiction arguing, among other things, that Singh had failed to provide timely notice of claim. The trial court denied the plea and TxDOT appealed

After analyzing the pleadings and facts submitted, the court held there is some evidence that as of December 5, 2016, the day after the accident, TxDOT had subjective awareness that Amrinder Singh of a specified address and driver’s license number was involved in an automobile accident on December 4, 2016 at 6:50 a.m. in the 15500 block of Highway 290, a section of the highway that TxDOT had recently rebuilt. As a result, written claim notice was not needed as actual notice existed. TxDOT additionally had subjective awareness at that time that Singh had suffered possible injuries in the accident. Six other crashes occurred in the same area in the same timeframe due to the slickness of the new road surface when wet. The court held the plea was properly denied.

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