Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-19-01299-CV (June 18, 2020)
Justices Whitehill (Opinion available here), Osborne, and Carlyle
Kennedy alleged she paid for use of the Dallas train station because she purchased a train ticket to travel from Kilgore to Dallas. The Dallas Court of Appeals disagreed. Kennedy paid a fee to Amtrak to ride the train, but did not pay a separate fee to the City of Dallas for use of Union Station, and a fee must be paid “specifically for entry onto and use of the premises” in order to trigger invitee status. Because Kennedy did not pay a fee to use the train station, she was a mere licensee and had to produce evidence the City was actually aware of the allegedly dangerous condition, which she failed to do. Kennedy testified that a man wearing “a gray top and blue pants” told her that “they should’ve have had that fixed a long time ago.” But this testimony did not raise a fact issue regarding the City’s knowledge of the allegedly dangerous condition because there was no evidence the man worked for the City or ever reported the condition to the City. The Court therefore rendered judgment granting the City’s plea to the jurisdiction and dismissing Kennedy’s claim.