Nebraska Revised Statute 13-912

Chapter 13 Section 912

13-912.

Defective bridge or highway; damages; liability; limitation.

If any person suffers personal injury or loss of life, or damage to his or her property by means of insufficiency or want of repair of a highway or bridge or other public thoroughfare, which a political subdivision is liable to keep in repair, the person sustaining the loss or damage, or his or her personal representative, may recover in an action against the political subdivision, and if damages accrue in consequence of the insufficiency or want of repair of a road or bridge or other public thoroughfare, erected and maintained by two or more political subdivisions, the action can be brought against all of the political subdivisions liable for the repairs of the same; and damages and costs shall be paid by the political subdivisions in proportion as they are liable for the repairs. The procedure for filing such claims and bringing suit shall be the same for claims under this section as for other claims under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act and sections 16-727, 16-728, 23-175, 39-809, and 79-610. No political subdivision shall be liable for damages occasioned by defects in state highways and bridges thereon which the Department of Transportation is required to maintain, but the political subdivision shall not be relieved of liability until the state has actually undertaken construction or maintenance of such highways. It is the intent of the Legislature that minimum maintenance highways and roads shall not be deemed to be insufficient or in want of repair when they meet the minimum standards for such highways and roads pursuant to section 39-2109.

Source

  • Laws 1889, c. 7, § 4, p. 78;
  • R.S.1913, § 2995;
  • C.S.1922, § 2746;
  • Laws 1929, c. 171, § 1, p. 585;
  • C.S.1929, § 39-832;
  • R.S.1943, § 39-834;
  • Laws 1959, c. 167, § 2, p. 609;
  • R.R.S.1943, § 39-834;
  • Laws 1969, c. 138, § 10, p. 630;
  • Laws 1983, LB 10, § 1;
  • R.S.1943, (1983), § 23-2410;
  • Laws 1996, LB 900, § 1026;
  • Laws 2017, LB339, § 74.
  • Operative Date: July 1, 2017

Annotations

  • 1. Time of bringing action

  • 2. Duty

  • 3. Liability

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Time of bringing action

  • Limitation of time within which to bring action applies to all persons without regard to any kind of disability. Gorgen v. County of Nemaha, 174 Neb. 588, 118 N.W.2d 758 (1962).

  • Action for death from county road contractor's negligence is not barred by thirty-day limitation under this section. Pratt v. Western Bridge & Constr. Co., 116 Neb. 553, 218 N.W. 397 (1928).

  • Limitation of time for bringing action is thirty days from date of injury. Swaney v. Gage County, 64 Neb. 627, 90 N.W. 542 (1902).

  • 2. Duty

  • A county is not an insurer, but it must use reasonable and ordinary care in the construction and maintenance of highways and bridges such that a traveler using them with ordinary and reasonable caution will be reasonably safe. Hume v. Otoe County, 212 Neb. 616, 324 N.W.2d 810 (1982).

  • Duty of county is fulfilled if a width sufficient for travel is kept in a proper condition. Farmers Coop. Co. v. County of Dodge, 181 Neb. 432, 148 N.W.2d 922 (1967).

  • In order to recover against county for defect in highway on county line, it is necessary to show that the road was both constructed and maintained by county. Stitzel v. Hitchcock County, 139 Neb. 700, 298 N.W. 555 (1941).

  • County is not insurer, but must use reasonable, ordinary care to keep highway safe for traveler using ordinary care. Frickel v. Lancaster County, 115 Neb. 506, 213 N.W. 826 (1927); Johnson County v. Carmen, 71 Neb. 682, 99 N.W. 502 (1904).

  • 3. Liability

  • Even assuming the city had a general duty to use ordinary care in treating its streets for icy conditions, dismissal of the plaintiff's petition was affirmed where the evidence of the city's negligence was insufficient. Hendrickson v. City of Kearney, 210 Neb. 8, 312 N.W.2d 677 (1981).

  • County held liable for damages caused by insufficiency or want of repair of a bridge when a twenty-four ton truck collapsed a county bridge. Hansmann v. County of Gosper, 207 Neb. 659, 300 N.W.2d 807 (1981).

  • Defendant village is not liable for injuries suffered by plaintiff when she tripped and fell on a slight irregularity in the sidewalk, where there was no evidence that the village had received any complaint or notice of the condition of the sidewalk, and where the defect was clearly visible to the plaintiff. Doht v. Village of Walthill, 207 Neb. 377, 299 N.W.2d 177 (1980).

  • The liability of all political subdivisions based on the alleged insufficiency or want of repair of any public thoroughfare is to be determined by the provisions of sections 23-2410 and 23-2411, R.R.S.1943, and judicial interpretations governing the liability of counties under the statute in effect prior to the enactment of the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. Christensen v. City of Tekamah, 201 Neb. 344, 268 N.W.2d 93 (1978).

  • County was not liable for damages allegedly due to defective stop sign. McKinney v. County of Cass, 180 Neb. 685, 144 N.W.2d 416 (1966).

  • The liability of a county for defective highways and bridges is statutory. Stevens v. County of Dawson, 172 Neb. 585, 111 N.W.2d 220 (1961).

  • County is not required to warn of dangers which arise from unusual and extraordinary occurrences. Clouse v. County of Dawson, 161 Neb. 544, 74 N.W.2d 67 (1955).

  • To impose liability on county, its negligence must be a proximate cause of injury. Shields v. County of Buffalo, 161 Neb. 34, 71 N.W.2d 701 (1955).

  • This section applies to liability of county to individuals, and not to action by county for injury to bridge. Central Neb. P. P. & I. Dist. v. Boettcher, 154 Neb. 815, 49 N.W.2d 690 (1951).

  • County is not liable on account of latent defects in bridge. Wittwer v. County of Richardson, 153 Neb. 200, 43 N.W.2d 505 (1950).

  • "Insufficiency" of highway is defined. Dickenson v. County of Cheyenne, 146 Neb. 36, 18 N.W.2d 559 (1945).

  • County is not liable for damages to a person injured by reason of want of repair of a highway where whole duty of maintaining and repairing such highway rested on Department of Roads and Irrigation and not on county. Porter v. Lancaster County, 130 Neb. 705, 266 N.W. 584 (1936).

  • Counties under township organization are liable for defects in highway which county either by statute or contract is under a duty to maintain and keep in repair. Franek v. Butler County, 127 Neb. 852, 257 N.W. 235 (1934), reversing on rehearing, 126 Neb. 797, 254 N.W. 489 (1934).

  • County is liable although repair of highway delegated to another. Frickel v. Lancaster County, 115 Neb. 506, 213 N.W. 826 (1927); Sharp v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co., 110 Neb 34, 193 N.W. 150 (1923).

  • Prior to 1929 amendment, county was liable although injuries occurred on state highway. Saltzgaber v. Morrill County, 111 Neb. 392, 196 N.W. 627 (1923).

  • County is liable although not actually notified of defective condition of bridge, and notwithstanding mode of travel had changed since original construction. Higgins v. Garfield County, 107 Neb. 482, 186 N.W. 347 (1922).

  • Where road is on line between two counties, each is jointly and severally liable. Ewh v. Otoe County, 98 Neb. 469, 153 N.W. 509 (1915).

  • Contributory negligence of driver will not prevent recovery when injured person had no control over him. Loso v. Lancaster County, 77 Neb. 466, 109 N.W. 752 (1906).

  • Liability of county for damages resulting from defective culvert is discussed. Nielsen v. Cedar County, 70 Neb. 637, 97 N.W. 826 (1903).

  • County is liable for damages resulting from defective culvert. Goes v. Gage County, 67 Neb. 616, 93 N.W. 923 (1903).

  • Where there is no contributory negligence, county is liable. Hollingsworth v. Saunders County, 36 Neb. 141, 54 N.W. 79 (1893).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • Negligence cannot be predicated on curve in highway or location of bridge. Olson v. County of Wayne, 157 Neb. 213, 59 N.W.2d 400 (1953).

  • Action for death for county's negligence under this section must be brought by administrator. Swift v. Sarpy County, 102 Neb. 378, 167 N.W. 458 (1918).

  • Requirements of bridge should be to provide for proper accommodation of public at large. O'Chander v. Dakota County, 90 Neb. 3, 132 N.W. 722 (1911); Kovarik v. Saline County, 86 Neb. 440, 125 N.W. 1082 (1910); Seyfer v. Otoe County, 66 Neb. 566, 92 N.W. 756 (1902).

  • In action for damages, petition must be specific as to the unsafe condition of bridge. Johnson County v. Carmen, 71 Neb. 682, 99 N.W. 502 (1904).

  • Act of which this section is part is constitutional. Bryant v. Dakota County, 53 Neb. 755, 74 N.W. 313 (1898).