Hunt County v. Dallas, Garland & Northeastern R.R – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Hunt County v. Dallas, Garland & Northeastern R.R., No. 05-03-01587-CV, 2004 WL 1178609 (Tex. App.--Dallas May 28, 2004, no pet.), the Dallas court addressed the requisite nexus in a case involving road maintenance.

In that case, a road maintenance crew used motorized equipment to spread road-base material over the road in spots where the road material was thinning.

The crew also spread the material over the railroad tracks at a crossing, burying the tracks beneath about four inches of road-base material. Id.

Later in the afternoon, a train encountered the built-up road-base material, and the engine and lead car derailed. Id.

The Dallas court held that the railroad failed to establish the requisite nexus, asserting:

In this case, the County's use of the motor-driven equipment, driving it over the crossing while laying the road-base material is not what "actually caused" the derailment. Instead, the derailment was "actually caused" by a condition of the real property, the built-up road-base material, negligently created by the County. The motor-driven equipment did "no more than furnish the condition that made the injury possible."