Jemison v. DonaldsonAnnotate this Case
Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman, Jr., and Deputy Sheriff Ernest Larry Donaldson petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to direct the circuit court to vacate its order denying their motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Plaintiff Marie Jemison alleging multiple claims against them in their individual capacities. Plaintiff alleged that on August 23, 2008, she was traveling in Selma while, at the same time, Deputy Donaldson "was operating a motor vehicle in the line and scope of his agency and/or employment with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department." According to Plaintiff, as she entered the intersection of Lauderdale Avenue and Dallas Avenue, she was struck by Deputy Donaldson's vehicle and, as a result, sustained serious personal injuries. Jemison sued Deputy Donaldson, Donaldson's supervisor Sheriff Huffman, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department, and the Dallas County Commission. Among other claims, Plaintiff alleged negligence and wantonness against Deputy Donaldson for the manner in which he operated his vehicle, negligent entrustment and negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention against Sheriff Huffman, and vicarious liability against the Dallas County Sheriff's Department and the Dallas County Commission. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss all claims, asserting a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and a failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that under the circumstances of this case, Deputy Donaldson was acting in the line and scope of his employment and was entitled to State immunity. Therefore, the trial court erred in failing to grant the motion to dismiss all claims against Deputy Donaldson and Sheriff Huffman.