Winkler v. Lemieux, 2014 UT App 141 (June 19, 2014)
Jun 19, 2014
The plaintiff in this negligence action was injured in a head-on car collision while driving through a Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) work zone that was limited to one lane of traffic. A UDOT worker controlling access to the lane had signaled the plaintiff to enter, and she was struck by a driver travelling in the opposite direction who had also been signaled to enter by the UDOT worker on the other end of the lane. The district court dismissed the case, finding that UDOT was exempt from liability under the licensing exception to the waiver of governmental immunity found in Utah Code section 63G-7-301(5)(c), which provides that immunity is not waived for injuries resulting from “the issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of . . . any permit, license, certificate, approval, order, or similar authorization.” Utah Code Ann. § 63G-7-301(5)(c) (LexisNexis 2011). The Utah Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings, holding that UDOT had failed to demonstrate that the employee’s signal to the plaintiff possessed the level of formality necessary to trigger the licensing exception.