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On Petition for Review from the Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas

In this wrongful-death action, we decide whether the Texas Tort Claims Act waives sovereign immunity from suit for a premise-defect claim based on an allegedly dangerous highway median. Cecilia Ramirez alleged that the Texas Department of Transportation’s failure to correct or warn about a dangerous highway condition, which enabled a car to cross a highway median and collide with her husband’s car, caused her husband’s death. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code �� 101.001-.109. TxDOT filed a plea to the jurisdiction, which the trial court denied. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that Ramirez’s petition “sufficiently alleged a defective condition.” __ S.W.3d __. We disagree. As a matter of law, Ramirez’s claims against TxDOT involve discretionary acts for which the State retains sovereign immunity. Therefore, we reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and dismiss Ramirez’s claims for want of jurisdiction.

Ruben Ramirez, Sr., was driving southbound on Interstate Highway 35 near Slaughter Lane in Austin. Another driver, who was traveling northbound, lost control of her car. That car crossed the grassy median and hit Ruben’s car head-on. Ruben died at the scene.

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