City asks judge to reconsider reinstating pothole injury suit

David Yates Apr. 5, 2010, 10:18am

Last December, a Jefferson County judge dismissed a suit filed against the city of Beaumont by Sherry White, a local woman who alleges she was seriously injured after running over a pothole.

Five months later, the same judge is considering whether to once again dismiss the same pothole injury suit.

During a Dec. 21 hearing, the city argued that it has governmental immunity. Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, found the city's motion to be meritorious and dismissed the suit the following day.

However, White filed a motion for a new trial and Judge Shuffield reversed his previous position, reinstating the case on Feb. 9.

On April 5, the city asked the judge to reconsider his ruling and dismiss the case, again.

Judge Shuffield did not rule on the city's motion, but informed both parties they have 10 days to gather as much evidence as possible before crafting a ruling, a courthouse official told the Record.

In her lawsuit, White claims she was driving a 2000 Toyota Avalon at the intersection of Ethel and Edmonds in Beaumont on Oct. 6, 2007, when she encountered a large pothole.

"As a result of such, her vehicle lurched violently causing damage to the vehicle and to her person," the suit states.

White is seeking damages for her alleged physical pain, mental anguish and physical impairment, incurred medical costs and lost wages.

White blames Beaumont for failing to maintain its road and for failing to warn her of a hazardous condition.

The city argues in court papers that there is no evidence on the matter.

Jack Todd Ivey of Ivey Law Firm in Beaumont is representing White.

The city is represented in part by City Attorney Tyrone Cooper.

Case No. D185-025

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