City of Texarkana v. Nard
In City of Texarkana v. Nard, 575 S.W.2d 648, 653 (Tex. Civ. App.-Tyler 1978, writ ref'd n.r.e.), the Tyler Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Texarkana had "actual notice" of an automobile accident caused, in part, by a malfunctioning city traffic signal light. 575 S.W.2d at 653.
The factors significant in determining that the City of Texarkana had actual notice were that: a city police officer, Officer Frei, interviewed both drivers involved in the accident and prepared an investigation report; the city's ambulance service mailed a bill to the appellee demanding payment for transportation to the hospital from the accident scene; the City Attorney visited with the Police Chief "for the purpose of discussing reporting procedures and the accident"; the appellee's attorney discussed the matter with the city's Police Chief; and the city's Public Works Department conducted its own investigation. Id. at 650-51.
The court ultimately held that:
"We think the fact that Officer Frei had actual notice that the appellee had received injuries and damages must be imputed to the City because such notice came to him as a representative of the City at a time when he was charged with a duty to gather the facts surrounding the accident and make known to the City that injuries and damages were sustained in the collision." Id. at 653.
The evidence showed that "the Police Department was the instrumentality through which the City elected to deal with the investigation of accidents." Id.