Rodriguez v. Department of TransportationAnnotate this Case
While a public entity may be liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions of public property, the entity may avoid liability through the affirmative defense of design immunity. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment, holding that Caltrans established, as a matter of law, the affirmative defense of design immunity. The court rejected plaintiff's contention that a public official’s approval of a design does not constitute an exercise of discretionary authority under Government Code section 830.6 if the official admits that he or she never actually considered whether to utilize the safety feature the plaintiff asserts would have prevented his or her injuries. Rather, the court held that the evidence established the shoulder that was actually constructed was the result of or conformed to a design approved by the employee vested with discretionary authority, which provided a basis for concluding any liability for injuries caused by the absence of rumble strips was immunized by section 830.6.