In a brief per curiam opinion on November 22, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals made what, perhaps, should have been an obvious ruling: that where a Texas limitations tolling statute does not contain an exception, a federal judge cannot simply create one. However, in Clyce v. Butler, the trial judge decided otherwise, and was reversed by the Fifth Circuit.
Seven years ago, Alexis Flores was 15 years old and a sophomore at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in Pharr, Texas, participating in the student athletic trainer program and playing third base on the high school's softball team. On September 9, 2010, her supervising trainer asked her to board a two-seater golf cart with himself and another student and drove toward the football field to set up water and equipment for a junior varsity football game. He took a sharp left turn, and Flores was ejected from the cart onto her right knee, tearing her ACL and shattering her dreams of playing softball again that spring.
The aftermath of an auto accident is always a stressful time, particularly if you've been injured. At the same time that you are worrying about your injuries, seeing doctors, trying to get your car fixed (or worse, having to get a new car), and arranging alternative transportation, you have to deal with an insurance company to figure out who will be paying for it all. While this can be tricky when you are in an accident with a private citizen or business, there are even more pitfalls if you are in an accident with a government vehicle like a police car, ambulance, or city bus.
Many people believe that it is impossible to sue the government due to past traditional beliefs that the "King can do no wrong." This is untrue and not only has the Federal Government provided a way to bring a suit against the Federal Government, but the State of Texas has adopted a set of laws called the Texas Tort Claims Act which provides an possibility to seek a claim against the Government of Texas.
The surviving family members of United States Marine Corps (USMC) Corporal James "JP" Salinas recently filed suit against the City of Eagle Lake in Colorado County. Corporal Salinas died on April 28, 2012 from injuries he sustained in an auto collision while riding his motorcycle and wearing his helmet. The lawsuit alleges that Corporal Salinas was traveling on FM 1013 near Eagle Lake to his job at a Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Sealy, Texas when an Eagle Lake officer, David Lee Weatherall, "inexplicably and without excuse attempted to make an illegal and ill-advised u-turn in front of Corporal Salinas." The lawsuit further alleges that Corporal Salinas skidded into the patrol car causing fatal injuries.