Bellnoa v. City of Austin

In Bellnoa v. City of Austin, 894 S.W.2d 821 (Tex.App.--Austin 1995, no writ), two children were struck by a privately owned and operated vehicle while attempting to cross the street. One later died from his injuries. The parents sued the City of Austin, alleging various acts of negligence relating to the regulation of traffic. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the municipality based on sovereign immunity. On appeal, the plaintiffs alleged that the municipality was negligent in raising the speed limit from 30 to 40 miles per hour. Bellnoa, 894 S.W.2d at 825. The Austin Court of Appeals determined that the municipality could not be held liable for posting a traffic sign which accurately reflected the new speed limit, thus rejecting the plaintiffs' theory that the sign misled the public into believing that the new speed limit was safe and reasonable and that such a discrepancy was a "condition" of the sign. Id. The posted sign was merely an indication of the legal speed limit, and the source of the problem was the setting of the speed limit, not the posting or condition of the sign. Id. Furthermore, the municipality's decision to raise the speed limit was not actionable under the Tort Claims Act. Id. at 826.