By: Ellis, Patrick  S.B. No. 633
               
 
       
     
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
  relating to liability of certain electric utilities that allow
  certain uses of land that the electric utility owns, occupies, or
  leases.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subsection (a), Section 51.014, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A person may appeal from an interlocutory order of a
  district court, county court at law, or county court that:
               (1)  appoints a receiver or trustee;
               (2)  overrules a motion to vacate an order that
  appoints a receiver or trustee;
               (3)  certifies or refuses to certify a class in a suit
  brought under Rule 42 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;
               (4)  grants or refuses a temporary injunction or grants
  or overrules a motion to dissolve a temporary injunction as
  provided by Chapter 65;
               (5)  denies a motion for summary judgment that is based
  on an assertion of immunity by an individual who is an officer or
  employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state;
               (6)  denies a motion for summary judgment that is based
  in whole or in part upon a claim against or defense by a member of
  the electronic or print media, acting in such capacity, or a person
  whose communication appears in or is published by the electronic or
  print media, arising under the free speech or free press clause of
  the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or Article
  I, Section 8, of the Texas Constitution, or Chapter 73;
               (7)  grants or denies the special appearance of a
  defendant under Rule 120a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, except
  in a suit brought under the Family Code;
               (8)  grants or denies a plea to the jurisdiction by a
  governmental unit as that term is defined in Section 101.001;
               (9)  denies all or part of the relief sought by a motion
  under Section 74.351(b), except that an appeal may not be taken from
  an order granting an extension under Section 74.351;
               (10)  grants relief sought by a motion under Section
  74.351(l); [or]
               (11)  denies a motion to dismiss filed under Section
  90.007; or
               (12)  denies a motion for summary judgment filed by an
  electric utility regarding liability in a suit subject to Section
  75.0022.
         SECTION 2.  Subsection (c), Section 75.0021, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (c)  This section applies only to a public utility located
  in[:
               [(1)]  a county with a population of 800,000 or more and
  located on the international border[; or
               [(2)     a municipal management district located in a
  municipality with a population of more than 1.9 million].
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 75, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
  amended by adding Section 75.0022 to read as follows:
         Sec. 75.0022.  LIMITED LIABILITY OF CERTAIN ELECTRIC
  UTILITIES. (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Electric utility" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 31.002, Utilities Code.
               (2)  "Person" includes an individual, as defined by
  Section 71.001.
               (3)  "Premises" includes the land owned, occupied, or
  leased by an electric utility, or covered by an easement owned by an
  electric utility, with respect to which public access and use is
  allowed in a written agreement with a political subdivision under
  Subsection (c).
               (4)  "Serious bodily injury" means an injury that
  creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious
  permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the
  function of a body part or organ.
         (b)  This section applies only to an electric utility located
  in a county with a population of four million or more.
         (c)  An electric utility, as the owner, easement holder,
  occupant, or lessee of land, may enter into a written agreement with
  a political subdivision to allow public access to and use of the
  premises of the electric utility for recreation, exercise,
  relaxation, travel, or pleasure.
         (d)  The electric utility, by entering into an agreement
  under this section or at any time during the term of the agreement,
  does not:
               (1)  assure that the premises are safe for recreation,
  exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure;
               (2)  owe to a person entering the premises for
  recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure, or
  accompanying another person entering the premises for recreation,
  exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure, a greater degree of care
  than is owed to a trespasser on the premises; or
               (3)  except as provided by Subsection (e), assume
  responsibility or incur any liability for:
                     (A)  damages arising from or related to bodily or
  other personal injury to or death of any person who enters the
  premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure
  or accompanies another person entering the premises for recreation,
  exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure;
                     (B)  property damage sustained by any person who
  enters the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel,
  or pleasure or accompanies another person entering the premises for
  recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure; or
                     (C)  an act of a third party that occurs on the
  premises, regardless of whether the act is intentional.
         (e)  Subsection (d) does not limit the liability of an
  electric utility for serious bodily injury or death of a person
  proximately caused by the electric utility's wilful or wanton acts
  or gross negligence with respect to a dangerous condition existing
  on the premises.
         (f)  The limitation on liability provided by this section
  applies only to a cause of action brought by a person who enters the
  premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure
  or accompanies another person entering the premises for recreation,
  exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure.
         (g)  The doctrine of attractive nuisance does not apply to a
  claim that is subject to this section.
         (h)  A written agreement entered into under this section may
  require the political subdivision to provide or pay for insurance
  coverage for any defense costs or other litigation costs incurred
  by the electric utility for damage claims under this section.
         SECTION 4.  Subsection (b), Section 75.003, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (b)  This chapter does not affect the doctrine of attractive
  nuisance, except:
               (1)  as provided by Section 75.0022(g); and
               (2)  [that] the doctrine of attractive nuisance may not
  be the basis for liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of
  agricultural land for any injury to a trespasser over the age of 16
  years.
         SECTION 5.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of
  this Act. A cause of action that accrues before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law in effect immediately before that
  date, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
 
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