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Tag: Sovereign Immunity

Sovereign Immunity and the Texas Tort Claims Act 

By Jun 12, 2021 Posted in Personal Injury

You are rear-ended by a distracted driver manning the wheel of a state-owned vehicle. It turns out that the defendant driver is on the clock driving between locations. Is the driver responsible for your property damages and injuries, or is his employer? How do you sue the state of Texas for an incident caused by one of their employees? The Texas Tort Claims Act governs personal injury cases brought against the State of Texas. Sovereign immunity is the principle that the state’s “coffers” must be guarded from unlawful seizure. In other words, states cannot be subject to all lawsuits or the state would constantly be involved in frivolous litigation. The Texas Tort Claim Act allows the State of Texas to be sued in certain cases including tort claims involving employees in the scope of employment.  Defining Scope of Employment  Defining the scope of employment has been the subject of case law in many states. Generally speaking, a defendant government or private employee is in the scope of employment while driving if traveling to a work location from a work location, delivering goods, or has express permission from the employer to drive the work vehicle. Usually exceptions to scope of employment include if a government or private worker with “take-home” privileges, takes the car out for a joy ride after work hours and gets in an accident, or drives the vehicle drunk and subsequently collides with another vehicle or pedestrian while intoxicated. In addition, unless granted express permission by their employer, […]

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