Mandate Issued: 02/27/2019
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA
HONORABLE RICHARD C. OGDEN, TRIAL JUDGE
S. Dawson, MILLER DOLLARHIDE, P.C., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,
Kirk, Robert Ray Jones, Chantel James, LYTLE SOULÉ
& CURLEE, P.C., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, for
Defendant/Appellee City of Durant and
Jennifer Castillo, OKLAHOMA GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Defendant Oklahoma Gas and
Plaintiff, Amy Reeves, appeals a trial court Journal Entry of
Judgment sustaining the Motion to Dismiss of defendant, City
of Durant. This appeal proceeds under the accelerated docket
pursuant to Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.36, 12 O.S.Supp.
2017 ch. 15, app. 1. After review of the record on appeal and
applicable law, this Court affirms.
On November 23, 2014, Plaintiff was injured when she was
struck by a vehicle driven by Jason Schaming while crossing a
street in Durant, Oklahoma. Plaintiff alleges inadequate
street lighting at the intersection caused the accident.
Plaintiff claims Mr. Schaming was unable to see Plaintiff
crossing the street because of the inadequate street lighting
and could not avoid the collision.
Plaintiff filed a First Amended Petition  on December 29,
2016, alleging a cause of action for negligence against
defendants, City of Durant and Oklahoma Gas and Electric
Company (OG&E), for failure to keep the streetlight lit.
Plaintiff alleged "the accident was caused in whole or
in part by inadequate lighting due at the intersection."
Plaintiff further alleged Defendant had a duty to install and
maintain street lighting and once it undertook this duty, it
had to do so in a manner that complied with industry
standards for lighting.
Defendant City of Durant filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant
to 12 O.S. 2011 § 2012 (B)(6).  Defendant argued it
had "no duty to install or maintain streetlights"
and, therefore, Plaintiff could not establish a negligence
claim. In the alternative, Defendant argued the Oklahoma
Supreme Court in Ochoa v. Taylor, 1981 OK 120, 635
P.2d 604, held that the installation and maintenance of
streetlights is a discretionary act and a city is exempt from
liability under the GTCA, specifically 51 O.S.Supp. 2017
§ 155 (5).
In response, Plaintiff argued Defendant is not exempt from
liability under the discretionary exemption of the GTCA
because the duty to maintain streetlights that have already
been installed is an operational function, not a
discretionary one. Plaintiff further alleged that once
Defendant had notice of the defective streetlight, it had a
duty to fix the defective streetlight.
On September 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Certify
Order of Dismissal for Immediate Appeal. In response,
Defendant asked the trial court to deny Plaintiff's
request to certify because all of Plaintiff's claims
against the defendants arise out of the same transaction or
occurrence. In addition, Defendant alleged Plaintiff had not
shown the second element of certification, "no just
reason for delay."
The trial court entered a Journal Entry of Judgment on
January 19, 2018, sustaining Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss and overruling OG&E's Special Appearance and
Motion to Dismiss. The trial court also found "there is
no just reason for delay, and this Journal Entry shall
constitute a final ...