News & Articles

April 5, 2017

A Critique on the Judicial Test for Loss of Design Immunity for Public Entities

In California, public entities enjoy broad statutory protection for liability “for an injury caused by the plan or design of a construction of, or an improvement to, public property.”[1] This statutory protection exists where the plan or design was approved under the discretionary authority of the public entity, and there was substantial evidence supporting the reasonableness of the plan at the time of approval. Courts have held that the recommendation of only one consultant engineer may be sufficient to provide substantial evidence to support the reasonableness of the design.