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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The Metropolitan Transit Authority in Houston entered into three contracts with MEB Engineering for various transportation projects. MEB eventually sued the authority for breach of contract, quantum meruit and fraud, saying it performed extra work for the authority and suffered delays due to the authority’s failures to plan properly. The authority filed a counterclaim for breach of contract and breach of warranty, arguing that it was contractually entitled to liquidated damages from MEB for the delays. The authority filed a plea to the jurisdiction, claiming it was immune from suit. The trial court dismissed the quantum meruit and fraud claims, but denied the authority’s plea on the breach-of-contract claim. The trial court agreed with MEB that Transportation Code 451.054, which says that transportation authorities may “sue and be sued,” waived the authority’s immunity. The authority appeals the denial. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court relies on Missouri Pacific Railroad Company v. Brownsville Navigation District, 453 S.W.2d 812 (Tex. 1970), which held that similar language in the statute at that time did indeed waive immunity. The court points out that the authority cannot cite any reason why this court should not be bound by that precedent. Furthermore, the First Court recently recognized that Missouri Pacific still applied to waive immunity in the city of Houston’s city charter. In that ruling, the court joined the majority of other courts of appeal that have held that “sue and be sued” provisions waive a governmental entity’s immunity from suit. OPINION:Higley, J. Taft, Hanks and Higley, JJ. CONCURRENCE:Hanks, J. The concurrence finds that this case is actually governed by Reata Construction Corp. v. City of Dallas, 47 Tex.Sup.Ct.J. 408 (Tex. Apr. 2, 2004), and the court didn’t need to rule on the “sue and be sued” provision in the Transportation Code. Under Reata, when the authority filed its counterclaim, it subjected itself to the trial court’s jurisdiction and waived its governmental immunity from suit regarding MEB’s claims.

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