Sewer line suit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction

The City of Madisonville v. Theresa Murders and Martina Maldonado, 10-13-00234-CV (Tex. App. – Waco, April 17, 2014)

This is a Texas Tort Claims Act case where the Plaintiffs brought suit against the City and contractor alleging damages after the City replaced a sewer line in front of their business. The Waco Court of Appeals reversed the denial of the City’s plea to the jurisdiction and dismissed the case.

The court did not go into great detail regarding the underlying facts. It simply noted that “[e]ven giving the most liberal construction of the Murders’ and Maldano’s pleadings, there are no facts alleged” which establish a waiver of immunity under the Texas Tort Claims Act.  At most, they allege the City failed to simply maintain the system generally and negligent in its efforts to help the contractors locate the sewer line which needed to be replaced. Further, the Plaintiffs claims for mental anguish and nuisance do not fall under any waiver. As a result, the trial court erred in denying the plea.

If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis and Justice Scoggins. Opinion delivered by Chief Justice Gray. Attorneys for Appellant City of Madisonville are John Hightower and Brian Begle. Attorneys for Appellee Maldonado and Murders are Roger Knight, Jr. and Timothy Lee.