THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES IN THE LIABILITY SECTOR

THE PURPOSE IS TO EXPLAIN THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES IN THE LIGHT OF INCREASED JUDICIAL ACTIVITY IN THE LIABILITY SECTOR. SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY IS REVIEWED; IT IS DEFINED AS THAT PRINCIPLE WHICH BARS SUIT AGAINST THE SOVEREIGN WITHOUT THE SOVEREIGN'S CONSENT OR PERMISSION. ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL, THIS MEANS THAT ACTION IS FORBIDDEN AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT UNLESS STATUTORILY WAIVED AS IN THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT, 28 U. S. C. SECTION 1491; ON THE STATE LEVEL, THIS MEANS THAT ANY WAIVER OF IMMUNITY MUST BE STATUTORILY APPLICABLE TO HIGHWAYS. SEVERAL CASES ARE DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF THESE INTERPRETATIONS. PERTAINING TO THE BASIC LAW OF MAINTNENANCE, THE HIGHWAY USER IS ENTITLED TO HAVE HIGHWAYS MAINTAINED IN A REASONABLY SAFE CONDITION. HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE STATE DOES NOT FUNCTION IN THE ROLE OF GUARANTOR AS REGARDS SAFETY, NOR DOES IT ENSURE AGAINST INJURY RESULTING FROM OBSTRUCTIONS OR DEFECTS IN THE HIGHWAYS, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED TO DO SO BY STATUTE. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE CASE OF BROWN VS. STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION, 444 P. 2D 882 (KANSAS, 1968), THE QUESTION BEFORE THE COURT WAS WHETHER A STOP SIGN WHICH WAS ALLEGEDLY OBSTRUCTED BY BUSHY VEGETATION CONSTITUTED A HIGHWAY DEFECT. THE COURT SAID THAT LIABILITY DEPENDED ON THE SCOPE OF THE STATUTE; THEREFORE SINCE THERE IS NO LEGAL FOOT-RULE BY WHICH TO MEASURE CONDITIONS EXACTLY, EACH STATE IS HANDLED SEPARATELY AND INCLUDED OR EXCLUDED FROM THE COVERAGE OF THE STATUTE ACCORDINGLY. OTHER CASES ARE DISCUSSED PERTAINING TO WARNING SIGNS, SAFETY BARRIERS, LIGHTING, TRAFFIC SIGNALS, AND PAVEMENT MARKINGS.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 124-134
  • Monograph Title: Maintenance planning and supervision
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00218821
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 7 1972 12:00AM