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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The truck driven by Curtis Tommy Phillips was struck from behind as Phillips waited to make a left turn from the inside traffic lane off of Highway 59 in Liberty County. Phillips and his family sued the Texas Department of Transportation, alleging a special defect existed at that spot because there was no designated turn lane. Phillips also claimed that TDOT negligently failed to lower the speed limit for traffic approaching the spot and to reasonably provide for the safety of those in vehicles existing the highway there. TDOT filed a plea to the jurisdiction, but the trial court denied it. HOLDING:Reversed and dismissed. Conditions that are “longstanding, routine, or permanent” are not special defects. Here, the lack of a left turn lane is a condition that is “longstanding, routine, or permanent,” and as such is not a special defect that would trigger the Texas Tort Claims Act’s waiver of sovereign immunity. The design of roadways, as well as the initial installation of safety features such as signs or signals, are discretionary functions, and the state cannot be liable for such design or safety considerations. OPINION:Per curiam; McKeithen, C.J., Burgess and Gaultney, JJ.

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