Jefferson County seeks immunity from automobile collision suit

By David Yates | Jan 19, 2013

Claiming it has immunity, Jefferson County is asking a Beaumont judge to dismiss an automobile collision suit filed against the county. 

As previously reported, Hardin County resident Hector Garza filed suit against Jefferson County and Liberty Mutual Insurance on Dec. 17 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging a county employee caused an automobile collision.

Court records show that on Jan. 2 the county filed an original answer and plea to the jurisdiction, moving for immediate judgment of dismissal with prejudice because of its immunity to suit.

The county also requests that the plaintiff take nothing.

The lawsuit alleges that on June 6, 2011, Garza was traveling on West Chance Road in Lumberton when a Jefferson County employee, who was in the course and scope of his employment, struck him.

The suit does not state exactly how the collision occurred.

The suit accuses the employee of traveling at an excessive rate of speed and driver inattentiveness.

Liberty was Garza’s insurance provider at the time of the incident and he seeks to collect underinsured motorist benefits from the company.

Garza is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment and lost wages.

Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas represents him.

Assistant District Attorney Phillip Babin represents the county.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A193-717

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