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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Prairie View A&M University hired contractors to maintain and service many of its mechanical systems. Bill Turner, d/b/a Turner Mechanical Services, was one of those contractors and had been servicing systems at the university sporadically for 30 years. Turner had a maintenance contract with the university to maintain and repair the university’s steam delivery system, among other systems. Eddie Ray Brooks was an independent contractor working for Turner. Brooks had worked for Turner for approximately 10 years, doing most of his work on the university’s campus. Aaron Watson was the university’s plant superintendent and had worked for the university for 28 years. Charles Muse was the university’s chief engineer and had worked for the university for 12 years. The testimony at trial established that Turner and Brooks had known and worked around Watson and Muse for a long time. Steam severely burned Brooks during the repair of a steam valve at the university health center (health center valve). After the incident, the university determined that a bypass line created for the purpose of providing backup steam to cooking kettles (the bypass line) was open, permitting steam from the high pressure line to escape into the broken health center valve that Brooks had been repairing. The pipe likely had been cold to Brooks’ touch because someone had turned off the broken health center valve, preventing steam in the line from traveling in that direction. When Brooks reopened this valve by knocking the bolts off of the pipe, steam from the high pressure line entered the low pressure line feeding the southwest campus and escaped to burn Brooks. Brooks sued the university to recover for his injuries. Brooks’ alleged that the university was negligent by failing to shut off all the steam flowing through the piping system. He also alleged a waiver of sovereign immunity because Brooks’ claim involved personal injury caused by the condition or use of property. The university asserted “full sovereign immunity from suit and liability,” and specifically denied that Brooks had asserted a claim under 101.021 of the Texas Tort Claims Act. The university also asserted a third-party claim against Turner for contribution, bringing him into the suit. Thereafter, with respect to its assertion of sovereign immunity, the university filed special exceptions, arguing that Brooks had failed to clearly plead a claim that was actionable under the TTCA and requesting that the court either require Brooks to replead or dismiss the action. The jury returned a verdict for Brooks, finding the university and Turner were negligent, but Brooks was not. The university and Turner both moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The university again argued that it had no actual knowledge of the dangerous condition and that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the jury’s verdict. The court denied these motions and entered a final judgment. The university and Turner appealed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The university raises five issues on appeal, asserting that 1. Chapter 95 of the Civil Practice & Remedies Code imposes additional limitations on the TTCA’s waiver of sovereign immunity; 2. Brooks failed to establish that the university had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused his injuries; 3. the TTCA does not provide a cause of action based on the failure to use property; 4. the TTCA does not provide a cause of action based on a discretionary budgetary decision; and 5. the TTCA does not provide a cause of action based on an improperly designed piping system. Brooks submitted this case to the jury only under the theory that a dangerous condition existed on the premises that the university failed to warn him about or make safe. To sustain a claim under this theory, the court states, Brooks was required to prove, among other things, that the state had actual knowledge of a dangerous condition and that he had no actual knowledge of that condition. The court explains that proof of actual knowledge requires a finding that the university knew of the dangerous condition that caused the injury, not just proof that the university was aware of a related condition that might create a danger at some time in the future. The court finds that there was no evidence at trial that Watson, or anyone else at the university, actually knew steam would enter the section of pipe being repaired. Watson’s undisputed testimony was that he had shut off steam to the southwest campus. Also, Brooks established that Watson and Muse told Turner and his employees that steam to the southwest campus had been shut off. The court notes that because Watson had turned the steam off the previous day, any steam remaining in the pipe should have bled off or cooled by the time the repair was to occur the following morning. Finally, it was undisputed that the pipe that was being repaired was cool to the touch and actually dripped water as the first bolt was removed, suggesting to everyone that it was not filled with steam. The court sustains the university’s second issue and holds that the evidence is legally insufficient to establish that the university had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused Brooks’ injury. Accordingly, the court concludes that there is no waiver of sovereign immunity under the TTCA, and renders judgment dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction. Because dismissal is appropriate, the court declines to address the university’s remaining issues on appeal. Similarly, because the only claim against Turner is the university’s third-party claim for contribution, which is derivative of Brooks’ claim against the university, the court holds that it is unnecessary to address the issues Turner has raised on appeal. The court accordingly reverses the judgment of the trial court and renders judgment dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction. OPINION:Eva M. Guzman, J.; Edelman, Seymore, and Guzman, JJ.

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