The last Sheesh-O-Meter case of the year….

The court’s brief opinion tells us that a ceiling light fell on a student in Kohlberg Elementary in El Paso ISD.  It injured his arm. All of us at Daily Dawg International are sorry to hear that this happened. It shouldn’t have, and we hope the student makes a full recovery from the injury.

But this accident provides no basis for a lawsuit against the school district. None.  The immunity of Texas school districts for accidental injuries like this could not be more clear in the law than it is. Texas school districts are immune from liability unless the injury was caused by the negligent use or operation of a motor vehicle. Not a light fixture. A motor vehicle.

Was there a motor vehicle involved in this case?  Nope. On that basis the district court judge should have granted the school district’s Plea to the Jurisdiction.  But that didn’t happen, and this forced the district into expending more time and money on an interlocutory appeal to the 8th District Court of Appeals in El Paso. 

The appellate court did the right thing, tossing the case out due to the immunity the legislature has given to public school districts. That’s the right outcome, but it should not have been necessary for the district to file an appeal on this one. Congrats to school attorney Tony Safi who ably represented the district in this case, El Paso ISD v. DeLaRosa, decided on November 7, 2022. It’s cited at 2022 WL 16737158.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at

Tomorrow: how not to let Child Find drive you to an early retirement….