OF JUDGMENT: 06/09/2016
FROM WHICH APPEALED: JACKSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. DALE
HARKEY TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: DAVID C. FRAZIER
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: AMY LASSITTER ST. PE' JAMES
EVERETT LAMBERT III
Bobbie Jean Lowe brought a suit against the City of Moss
Point (the City) for an injury she sustained while on
municipal property. The Jackson County Circuit Court granted
the City's motion for summary judgment, finding that the
City was entitled to discretionary-function immunity under
Mississippi Code Annotated section 11-46-9(1)(d) (Rev. 2012).
Lowe now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On October 20, 2012, Lowe attended a breast-cancer-awareness
event called "Bras Across the Bridge" held in Moss
Point, Mississippi. During the course of the event, many
participants, including Lowe, congregated at Pelican Landing,
a community rental space owned by the City. After being at
the event for a few hours, Lowe began to walk to her car to
leave when she stepped in a grass-covered hole, fell, and
injured her ankle.
Lowe filed suit against the City, alleging that the City was
negligent in its maintenance of the lawn and facility at
Pelican Landing, proximately causing Lowe's injuries. The
City's answer denied any negligence on its part and also
asserted that it was immune from suit under the Mississippi
Tort Claims Act (MTCA). Miss. Code Ann. §§ 11-46-1
to -23 (Supp. 2016). After the parties participated in
limited discovery, the City filed a motion for summary
judgment, arguing that it was immune from suit specifically
under sections 11-46-9(1)(d) and (v). After a hearing on the
motion, the trial court granted the City's motion for
summary judgment, finding that the City was immune from suit
under section 11-46-9(1)(d). Lowe now appeals.
The MTCA provides "that governmental entities and their
employees shall be exempt from liability in certain
situations as outlined in the MTCA." Brantley v.
City of Horn Lake, 152 So.3d 1106, 1108-09 (¶6)
(Miss. 2014) (citing § 11-46-9). Whether governmental
immunity applies "is a question of law and is a proper
matter for summary judgment." Id. (quoting
Mitchell v. City of Greenville, 846 So.2d 1028, 1029
(¶8) (Miss. 2003)). An appellate court reviews the
application of the MTCA under a de novo standard.
Id. (citing Lee v. Mem'l Hosp. at
Gulfport, 999 So.2d 1263, 1266 (¶8) (Miss. 2008)).
The grant or denial of summary judgment is also reviewed de
novo. Mitchell v.Ridgewood E. Apartments
LLC, 205 So.3d 1069, 1073 (¶13) (Miss. 2016). In
viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, summary judgment is proper where "the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that there is no genuine issue as to any ...