State-Agent Immunity - Municipal Public Works Director - Road Maintenance

Ex parte Tim Tucker, [Ms. 1180773, Dec. 6, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). The Court (Mendheim, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Stewart, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, JJ., concur; Mitchell, J., concurs in the result) issues a writ of mandamus directing the Baldwin Circuit Court to dismiss an action against Tim Tucker, the Public Works Director of the City of Orange Beach. Plaintiff fell while walking along the edge of a road which she alleged Tucker negligently failed to maintain.

The plaintiff contended that Tucker acted beyond his authority as Public Works Director by violating specific regulations set out in § 410.05(b) of the ALDOT specifications addressing edge requirements for paving of roads. Ms. *13. However, the specifications “... address standards for paving a roadway; they in no way address ongoing maintenance of roads and streets within the City ....” Ms. *19. The Court concluded “[i]t is undisputed that Tucker exercises judgment in determining how and where to use the limited resources available to the City to repair and maintain its roads and streets. ‘These decisions are the very sort protected by State-agent immunity as described in Cranman.’” Ms. *22, quoting Ex parte Estate of Reynolds, 946 So. 2d 450, 456-57 (Ala. 2006).

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