X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Oliver Okoli sued the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (TDHS) under the Texas Whistleblower Act, alleging that he was terminated for reporting to a program manager that his immediate supervisor “engaged the unit in falsifying dates and documents to avoid delinquencies in the handling of clients’ cases.” TDHS filed a plea to the jurisdiction based on immunity from suit, claiming that the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because Okoli failed to make a good faith report of a violation of law to an appropriate law enforcement authority. See TEX. GOV’TCODE § 554.002(a). The trial court denied the plea to the jurisdiction and TDHS appealed. See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 51.014(a)(8) (permitting appeal from an interlocutory order that denies a plea to the jurisdiction by a governmental unit). The court of appeals agreed with the trial court, holding that whether Okoli actually reported the alleged violation to an appropriate law enforcement authority could not be considered a “jurisdictional prerequisite to suit,” though it dismissed the appeal on other grounds. 263 S.W.3d 275, 282–83; see also TEX. GOV’T CODE § 554.0035.

However, in State v. Lueck, ___ S.W.3d ___, ___ (Tex. 2009), we held that “the elements of section 554.002(a) can be considered to determine both jurisdiction and liability.” Accordingly, whether Okoli’s report to a program manager was a good faith report of a violation of law to an appropriate law enforcement authority is a jurisdictional question. Therefore, without hearing oral argument, TEX. R. APP. P. 59.1, and for the reasons explained in Lueck, we reverse and remand to the court of appeals to determine whether Okoli has alleged a violation under the Act. See TEX. GOV’T CODE § 554.002(a).

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now
Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now
Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now
July 22, 2024 - July 24, 2024
Lake Tahoe, CA

GlobeSt. Women of Influence Conference celebrates the women who drive the commercial real estate industry forward.


Learn More
September 05, 2024
New York, NY

The New York Law Journal honors attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in New York.


Learn More
September 06, 2024
Johannesburg

The African Legal Awards recognise exceptional achievement within Africa s legal community during a period of rapid change.


Learn More

Columbia Law School seeks an experienced lawyer with a background in criminal defense and a strong interest in community lawyering and clini...


Apply Now ›

WittKieffer is proud to partner with Mom's Meals in the search for their Director of Legal Affairs. Mom's Meals is an investor-owned compan...


Apply Now ›

Nutley Law firm concentrating in plaintiff's personal injury for plaintiff seeks an Attorney with three or more years of experience in New J...


Apply Now ›
06/27/2024
The American Lawyer

Professional Announcement


View Announcement ›
06/21/2024
Daily Business Review

Full Page Announcement


View Announcement ›
06/14/2024
New Jersey Law Journal

Professional Announcement


View Announcement ›