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August 2012

Houston Office Stops Stop Sign Case

Houston senior counsel Steven Selbe and Heidi Gumienny, with associate help from Kristina Brar, were recently successful in defending a serious personal injury case against the City of Huntsville, Texas.

The case involved a decision by the Huntsville City Council to remove, after a reasonable notice period, several stop signs from intersections that the Council believed did not warrant signs under the current traffic conditions. Several days after the signs were removed the Plaintiff turned left in front of an oncoming vehicle and a serious accident ensued. Subsequently, the Plaintiff brought suit against the city, alleging that the city was negligent in making the decision to remove the signs and negligently implemented the policy.

After initial discovery, the Gordon & Rees attorneys filed a well crafted plea to the jurisdiction, alleging that the decision was a legislative one for which the City could not be sued under the Texas Tort Claims Act. Once the decision was made, the plan that was developed and implemented for the removal  was reasonable and was not negligent. Judge Keeling, a Walker County District Judge, agreed and granted the plea, dismissing the Plaintiff's claims with prejudice.

The case received a large amount of local press coverage as the Plaintiff was quite vocal in her displeasure with both the decision of the Council and the subsequent defeat in Court.

Steven D. Selbe