Negligence Claim Against City of Tupelo Barred by Discretionary Function Immunity

In 2008, a Tupelo, Mississippi apartment complex, Evergreen Square, experienced problems with sewage backups which led to complaints filed by its residents with the City of Tupelo. Following those complaints, City inspectors required Evergreen Square to repair or replace certain sewer lines to bring the apartment complex up to code. According to the City, this work solved the problems, however, residents continued to experience backups. Evergreen Square filed a suit against the City for negligence under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act (MTCA). The district court granted summary judgment to the City on August 22, 2014, finding the claim was barred by discretionary function immunity. The Fifth Circuit vacated the grant of summary judgment on March 1, 2015, based on “a change in relevant state law during the pendency of [the] appeal.” The district court again granted summary judgment for the City because the negligence claim was barred by discretionary function immunity. The Fifth Circuit affirmed their second summary judgment. Find out why.