PHI, Inc. v. Texas Juvenile Justice Department (Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that sovereign immunity barred Plaintiff's claim against the State brought after a cargo van owned by the State rolled backwards into a grounded helicopter owned by Plaintiff, holding that portions of the claim should have been allowed to proceed.
The van in this case was owned by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, an agency of the State. Plaintiff sued the Department, alleging that the Department breached its duty to act with ordinary care in maintaining and operating the van. The Department filed a combined plea to the jurisdiction and motion for summary judgment. The trial court denied the plea and motion. The court of appeals reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment, concluding that sovereign immunity protected the Department from Plaintiff's claims. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the court of appeals erred in rejecting Plaintiff's claims related to a Department employee's allegedly negligent failure to apply the parking brake so the van would not roll away.