Design Immunity Does Not Shield Public Entity From Claim That it Failed to Warn of a Dangerous Condition

Businesswoman with hands up in warning stop

Attorney Garret Murai analyzes Tansavatdi v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

May 17, 2021
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

Readers of this blog are familiar with the concept of the design immunity defense.

Codified at Government Code section 830.6, it provides in pertinent that a public entity is not liable for an injury caused by a plan or design of a public improvement where the plan or design has been “approved in advance . . . by the legislative body of the public entity or by some other body or employee exercising discretionary authority to give such approval or where such plan or design is prepared in conformity with standards previously so approved” if the trial or appellate court finds that there “is any substantial evidence upon the basis of which (a) a reasonable public employee could have adopted the plan or design or the standards therefor or (b) a reasonable legislative body or other body or employee could have approved the plan or design or the standards therefor.”

In the next case, Tansavatdi v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes, Case No. B293670 (January 29, 2021), the 2nd District Court of Appeal examined whether the design immunity defense also serves as a defense to a claim that a public entity has a duty to warn of a dangerous condition on public property.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at


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