At 1:30 the Miss.S.Ct. will hear the case of Samuel Wilcher v. the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors and the City of Brookhaven.
In July 2014 Samuel Wilcher was traveling on Washington Street in Brookhaven when his car plunged off the street and into a pit or a ditch because there was a bridge under repair and, he alleges, the city and/or county were negligent in failing to provide proper signage alerting drivers that the bridge was under construction. The trial court granted summary judgment for the county on the grounds that Miss. Code Ann. §63-3-305 makes it clear that placement and maintenance of traffic control devices by local authorities is discretionary.
Wilcher appeals arguing that the placement of signs in this case is ministerial.
As expressly stated in 37 Miss. Code. R. § 1-7601-00100-102, “Signs and signals
will be warranted, erected, and maintained in accordance with the guidelines
established in the current edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
adopted by the Transportation Commission.” Again, as Section 63-3-305 states,
“Local authorities in exercising [responsibilities for traffic control devices] shall be
subject to the direction and control of the state highway commission.” As pleaded by
Wilcher, the City and County failed to perform a ministerial function required by the
statute, the administrative code, and the MUTCD. For Rule 12 purposes, courts are
required to consider these allegations as true. Hence, the City and County have
admitted to having failed in their duty.
Since the MSSCt saw fit to retain this case, it may be worth watching for those who do Tort Claims Act cases.
Lincoln County’s brief
Wilcher’s reply brief.
Watch the argument here.