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McKinley v. City of Glenwood Springs

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Sixth Division

September 10, 2015

Linda McKinley and William McKinley, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
City of Glenwood Springs, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This Opinion is subject to revision upon final publication.

Garfield County District Court No. 13CV30027. Honorable Denise K. Lynch, Judge.

Dennis M. Walters, P.C., Dennis Walters, Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Freeman & Freeman, Martin Freeman, Rockville, Maryland, for Plaintiffs-Appellees.

Hugh D. Wise III, Aspen, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant.

OPINION

FURMAN, JUDGE

Page 1081

[¶1] Defendant, the City of Glenwood Springs (City), appeals the district court's denial of its motion to dismiss the personal injury claims of the plaintiffs, Linda and William McKinley, under section 24-10-106(1)(d)(I), C.R.S. 2014, of the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). The central issue on appeal is whether section 24-10-106(1)(d)(I) waives governmental immunity for injuries occurring in parking areas of a municipal street. Because we conclude that this section waives immunity for injuries occurring in these parking areas, we affirm the district court's order denying the City's motion to dismiss.

I. Linda McKinley's Injury

[¶2] Linda McKinley pulled her car into a parking spot on a municipal street in Glenwood Springs. She stepped out of her car and tripped in a four- to five-inch deep depression in the pavement of the parking area.

[¶3] The McKinleys filed a complaint seeking to hold the City liable for Linda McKinley's injuries and William McKinley's loss of consortium. The City moved to dismiss the McKinleys' complaint, contending that it was immune from suit under section 24-10-106(1), which protects public entities from suits for tort-based injuries unless the section explicitly waives immunity. This statute explicitly waives immunity for

[a] dangerous condition of a public highway, road, or street which physically interferes with the movement of traffic on the paved portion, if paved, or on the portion customarily used for travel by motor vehicles, if unpaved, of any public highway, road, street, or sidewalk within the corporate limits of any municipality, or of any highway which is a part of the federal interstate highway system or the federal primary highway system, or of any highway which is a part of the federal secondary highway system, or of any highway which is a part of the state highway system on that portion of such highway, road, street, or sidewalk which was designed and intended for . . . parking thereon.

§ 24-10-106(1)(d)(I) (emphasis added).

[¶4] In response to the City's motion, the district court conducted an evidentiary hearing, in accordance with Trinity Broadcasting of Denver, Inc. v. City of Westminster, 848 P.2d 916 (Colo. 1993). The court found that section 24-10-106(1)(d)(I) waives immunity for injuries occurring in parking areas in municipalities. The court also ...


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