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Texas Personal Injury News

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Water Tower Accident Kills One in Texas

Who is liable for accidents occurring on city or state owned property?

Water towers stand tall in most towns across Texas, providing a source of water for the area. Water towers are constructed at a considerable height so as to allow water to be sufficiently pressured. Typically owned by a local municipality, water towers do require maintenance and updating. In Porter, Texas tragedy struck when a worker was killed in the water tower. A steel panel in the process of being lifted into the air crashed into the open water tank, killing one of the four employees within it. The employee was a contracted worker from a company with significant experience constructing water towers.

Municipal Liability

Many of us do not realize just how much property government entities typically own. Chances are you stroll on a sidewalk owned by the city daily or make a trip to a city park. When you visit a government owned piece of property, there is always a risk of injury. Should you become injured on government property, liability issues become quite complex.

The Texas Tort Claims Act

Under Texas law, like in most other states, government entities are typically shielded from liability by the concept of sovereign immunity. Per Section 101.02 of the Texas Tort Claims Act, a government entity can be sued if a waiver of sovereign immunity applies. Generally, a government entity could be liable to an injured plaintiff under the following circumstances:

  1. The injury was proximately caused by a wrongful act, omission, or the negligence of a government employee while acting within the scope of employment, if the injury occurred due to the operation or use of a vehicle or motorized equipment; or

  2. The injury was caused by a condition or use of tangible personal or real property, if the government entity would have been personally liable if it were a person.

The government entity can further escape liability if it can show the injury was caused by the performance or non-performance of an act that was left to the discretion of the governmental unit. Municipal liability requires adherence to strict notice requirements, with the government entitled to at least six months’ notice following the injury. Contact a personal injury attorney right away for assistance with your government entity related personal injury claim.


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Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC has offices located in Houston and Lufkin Texas and serves clients throughout East Texas as well as many other states.
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