Patterson v. Cowley County: Tort Claims and Road Signs

This interlocutory appeal arises out of wrongful death actions brought by the heirs (the plaintiffs) of two individuals who were killed in a single-vehicle accident on a road that dead ends at the banks of the Arkansas River. The plaintiffs filed wrongful death claims against Cowley County, Bolton Township, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for failure to provide adequate warnings, signs, or barriers on certain portions of the road where the fatal accident occurred. … As set forth more specifically below, we find the County had no duty to initiate an engineering study, the County is immune from liability under the discretionary judgment exception of the Kansas Tort Claims Act (KTCA) for any failure to place an advisory speed plaque or warning signs on its portion of 322nd Road, the County is not immune from liability under the recreational exception of the KTCA for any failure to place an advisory speed plaque, a Dead End sign, or a No Outlet sign on its portion of 322nd Road, the Township had no duty to place traffic control devices or other warning signs on its portion of 322nd Road, and the failure to inspect property of another exception to liability set forth in the KTCA does not apply to the facts presented in this case.

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