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

Premium Subscription

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

Team Accounts

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

Bundle Subscriptions

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

Elite Trial Lawyers 2022 (ETL)

July 14, 2022
New York, NY

The National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers recognizes U.S.-based law firms performing exemplary work on behalf of plaintiffs.


Learn More

GlobeSt. ELITE Women of Influence 2022 (WOI)

July 25, 2022 - July 27, 2022
Park City, UT

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


Learn More

African Legal Awards (AFLA) 2022

September 02, 2022
Johannesburg

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


Learn More

Senior Litigation Paralegal- Houston - Texas


The Law Office of Domingo Garcia is looking for a personal injury paralegal who has experience (a) responding to written discovery requests,...


Apply Now ›

Litigation Associate


A highly regarded Orlando litigation boutique is seeking a business litigation associate with a minimum of two years of experience. The cand...


Apply Now ›

Finance/Corporate Trust Lawyer - CT or Remote


We are seeking a lawyer with a minimum of five years of experience in transactional work to join our well-established, nationally renowned C...


Apply Now ›

MARSHALL DENNEHEY

07/07/2022
TLI Web

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin mourns the loss of Robert St. Leger Goggin, a name partner of the firm. Bob was hired by Francis E. Marshall in 1968 and he enjoyed a storied and illustrious career at the firm for the next 30 years


View Announcement ›

MAGGIANO, DIGIROLAMO & LIZZI, P.C.

07/04/2022
NJLJ Web

MAGGIANO, DIGIROLAMO & LIZZI, P.C., wiith a heavy heart, acknowledge the passing of Anthony J. Sciuto, JSC (Retired), and of counsel to the law firm.


View Announcement ›

RAYNES & LAWN

06/29/2022
TLI Web

Raynes & Lawn is proud to congratulate Harold I. Goodman on the prestigious honor of Lifetime


View Announcement ›