Galveston asserts governmental immunity in parents' lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jul. 24, 2012, 4:43am


GALVESTON - The city of Galveston recently refuted a local couple's lawsuit arising from when their teenage son was struck near Stewart Road.

A 12-page original answer submitted July 2 before the Galveston County 212th District Court shows the city asserts governmental immunity in response to John Sealy and Desiree Sherrick's suit. Sarah Kay Larson is also a defendant in the case.

Sealy and Sherrick sued the city in May after Larson struck 14-year-old Trace Sealy with her Toyota Sequoia near Stewart Road and 61st Street the evening of Sept. 29, 2011.

The original petition states that Trace Sealy was walking in the crosswalk and had almost reached the opposite side of the intersection when the alleged incident occurred, stating Larson's SUV hit the young man so hard "he was literally knocked out of his shoe."

According to the plaintiffs, Trace Sealy "suffered severe blunt trauma to his head and neck with a straightening of his lordotic curve" as well as "blunt trauma to his right shoulder and arm with closed fracture of the right hand."

In its response, the city insists the complainants failed to "plead facts that support waiver of governmental immunity under a statute or legislative permission and the facts must show that the statute or legislative permission is applicable."

The city adds the traffic control signals at the site of the event in question were working properly "and there could be no waiver as to a malfunctioning light except by proof of failure to timely repair after notice."

No duty exists to inspect or maintain, the answer says.

It argues Trace Sealy and Larson's own negligence contributed to the incident.

Larson filed her rebuttal last month.

Attorney John Eckel with Mills Shirley L.L.P. in Galveston is representing the city.

Case No. 12-cv-1248

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