Flores v. Colorado Dept. of Corrections, No. 98CA0860.

Docket NºNo. 98CA0860.
Citation3 P.3d 464
Case DateNovember 26, 1999
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

3 P.3d 464

Laura J. FLORES, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendant-Appellee

No. 98CA0860.

Colorado Court of Appeals, Div. III.

November 26, 1999.

Certiorari Denied June 19, 2000.


3 P.3d 465
McCormick & Murphy, James J. Murphy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant

Gale A. Norton, Attorney General, Martha Phillips Allbright, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Richard A. Westfall, Solicitor General, Paul S. Sanzo, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee.

Opinion by Judge CASEBOLT.

In this negligence action, plaintiff, Laura J. Flores, appeals the dismissal of her complaint against defendant, the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC). We reverse and remand.

The facts are undisputed. Plaintiff, a visitor at the Limon Correctional Facility, was injured when she allegedly slipped and fell on a wet floor inside the secure visitor's area of the DOC facility. She subsequently brought this action seeking compensation for her injuries.

Defendant moved to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (GIA), § 24-10-101, et seq., C.R.S.1999. Relying on Pack v. Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, 894 P.2d 34 (Colo.App.1995), defendant argued that its sovereign immunity had not been waived under § 24-10-106(1)(b), C.R.S.1999, for the operation of a correctional facility. In Pack, a division of this court held that the negligent failure to keep a visitor's parking lot at a correctional facility free from snow and ice did not fall within the provision waiving immunity for the operation of a correctional facility.

In response, plaintiff argued that the operation of a correctional facility included supervision of the secure visitor's area inside the facility itself.

The trial court determined that this case presented basically the same issues that had been addressed in Pack v. Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, supra. Thus, because the court found that the failure to clean up any liquid in the visitor's area was analogous to the negligent failure to remove snow in a visitor's parking lot, it concluded that Pack was controlling. Therefore, it granted defendant's motion to dismiss and awarded attorney fees to defendant.

On appeal, plaintiff contends the trial court incorrectly determined that defendant's sovereign immunity was not waived under § 24-10-106(1)(b) of the GIA. We agree.

One of the basic purposes of the GIA is to permit injured claimants to seek redress for injuries caused by a public entity in certain specified circumstances. See State v. Moldovan, 842 P.2d 220 (Colo.1992).

For purposes of interpreting the GIA, the scope of immunity granted to the sovereign must be strictly construed and waiver provisions must be construed deferentially. Walton v. State, 968 P.2d 636 (Colo.1998); but see City & County of Denver v. Gallegos, 916 P.2d 509 (Colo.1996) (waiver provisions must be narrowly...

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5 practice notes
  • Ulibarri v. City & County of Denver, Civil Action No. 07–cv–01814–WDM–MJW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • September 30, 2010
    ...and jails, was to house persons for continuous periods, not to maintain a parking facility. Id.; see also Flores v. Colo. Dep't of Corr., 3 P.3d 464, 466 (Colo.App.1999) (distinguishing Pack in the case of a slip and fall within the visitor area of a correctional facility and therefore find......
  • Craven v. University of Colorado Hospital Auth., No. 99-1519
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • August 13, 2001
    ...of a jail or correctional facility also referenced in 106(1)(b) on more than one occasion. In both Flores v. Colo. Dep't of Corrections, 3 P.3d 464 (Colo. App. 2000), and Pack v. Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, 894 P.2d 34 (Colo. App. 1995), the courts held that "the purpose of a cor......
  • Corsentino v. Cordova, No. 99SC111.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 26, 2000
    ...case's language that immunity waivers are to be construed narrowly. See 916 P.2d at 511; see also Flores v. Colorado Dep't of Corrections, 3 P.3d 464, 465 (Colo.App.1999) (noting the inconsistency between Gallegos and Walton in construing immunity waivers); Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitatio......
  • Powell v. City of Colorado Springs, No. 99CA1403.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • December 21, 2000
    ...in which maintenance was performed constituted a dangerous condition of a public building); Flores v. Colorado Department of Corrections, 3 P.3d 464 (Colo.App.1999)(immunity held waived for injuries suffered by visitor who fell on wet floor located in visitor's area of prison); Smith v. Tow......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Ulibarri v. City & County of Denver, Civil Action No. 07–cv–01814–WDM–MJW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • September 30, 2010
    ...and jails, was to house persons for continuous periods, not to maintain a parking facility. Id.; see also Flores v. Colo. Dep't of Corr., 3 P.3d 464, 466 (Colo.App.1999) (distinguishing Pack in the case of a slip and fall within the visitor area of a correctional facility and therefore find......
  • Craven v. University of Colorado Hospital Auth., No. 99-1519
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • August 13, 2001
    ...of a jail or correctional facility also referenced in 106(1)(b) on more than one occasion. In both Flores v. Colo. Dep't of Corrections, 3 P.3d 464 (Colo. App. 2000), and Pack v. Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, 894 P.2d 34 (Colo. App. 1995), the courts held that "the purpose of a cor......
  • Corsentino v. Cordova, No. 99SC111.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 26, 2000
    ...case's language that immunity waivers are to be construed narrowly. See 916 P.2d at 511; see also Flores v. Colorado Dep't of Corrections, 3 P.3d 464, 465 (Colo.App.1999) (noting the inconsistency between Gallegos and Walton in construing immunity waivers); Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitatio......
  • Powell v. City of Colorado Springs, No. 99CA1403.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • December 21, 2000
    ...in which maintenance was performed constituted a dangerous condition of a public building); Flores v. Colorado Department of Corrections, 3 P.3d 464 (Colo.App.1999)(immunity held waived for injuries suffered by visitor who fell on wet floor located in visitor's area of prison); Smith v. Tow......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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