City of North Richland Hills v. Friend (Majority)Annotate this Case
Sarah Friend collapsed at a city-owned water park in North Richland Hills. City employees responded with oxygen masks and other airway equipment but did not retrieve an Automatic External Defibrillator device (AED) from a storage closet elsewhere on the park grounds. Sarah died later that day. Friend's estate sued several defendants, including the City and some of its employees, claiming their gross negligence in failing to retrieve and use the AED caused Sarah's untimely death. Pursuant to section 101.106(e) of the Texas Tort Claims Act, the trial court dismissed the employees. The trial court denied the City's plea to the jurisdiction on three alternative grounds. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and rendered judgment dismissing the Friends' claims against the City, holding that the City's immunity was not waived by section 101.021 of the Tort Claims Act, which permits a plaintiff to rely on the "condition or use of tangible personal property" waiver provision if the plaintiff alleges that the governmental unit used property that lacked an integral safety component.