Sampson v. Univ. of Texas at Austin (Opinion)Annotate this Case
John Sampson injured his shoulder when he tripped on an improperly secured extension cord at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) campus. Sampson filed a negligence suit alleging that UT waived its sovereign immunity pursuant to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. 101.021. UT filed a plea to the jurisdiction, motion to dismiss, and no-evidence motion for summary judgment based on sovereign immunity, all of which the trial court denied. The court of appeals reversed and dismissed Sampson’s claim for lack of jurisdiction, ruling that Sampson alleged a premises defect claim under the Tort Claims Act and failed to present evidence to show that a disputed material fact existed regarding UT’s actual knowledge of an unreasonable risk of harm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Sampson’s claim is properly characterized as a premises defect claim; and (2) Sampson failed to present evidence that UT had actual knowledge of the tripping hazard created by the extension cord.