Department of Transportation v. King (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
Respondent David King, as administrator of the estate of Wilma Ann King, brought an action against the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) alleging that the DMV was negligent in approving the driver’s license application of the driver who killed Wilma King in an automobile accident without first submitting the driver’s medical information to the Driver’s Licensing Advisory Board (advisory board). The DMV filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it was entitled to qualified immunity on the basis that referral to the advisory board is discretionary. The circuit court denied the motion, concluding that referral is nondiscretionary, and therefore, there was no qualified immunity. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the governmental act or omission that gave rise to Respondent’s action against the DMV constituted a discretionary governmental function, and therefore, the DMV was immune to Respondent’s action.