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Nyamatore v. Schuerman

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

October 31, 2017

Eunice Nyamatore, appellant,
v.
Barbara J. Schuerman and Omaha Transit Authority, also known as Transit Authority of Omaha, doing business as Metro Area Transit, appellees.

         1. Summary Judgment: Appeal and Error. An appellate court will affirm a lower court's grant of summary judgment if the pleadings and admitted evidence show that there is no genuine issue as to any material facts or as to the ultimate inferences that may be drawn from the facts and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

         2. Estoppel: Equity: Appeal and Error. A claim of equitable estoppel rests in equity, and in an appeal of an equity action, an appellate court tries factual questions de novo on the record and reaches a conclusion independent of the findings of the trial court.

         3. Statutes: Immunity: Waiver: Intent. Statutes that purport to waive sovereign immunity must be clear in their intent and are strictly construed in favor of the sovereign and against the waiver.

         4. Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act: Jurisdiction. While not a jurisdictional prerequisite, the filing or presentment of a claim to the appropriate political subdivision is a condition precedent to commencement of a suit under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act.

         5. Estoppel. The doctrine of equitable estoppel will not be invoked against a governmental entity except under compelling circumstances where right and justice so demand; in such cases, the doctrine is to be applied with caution and only for the purpose of preventing manifest injustice.

         6. Limitations of Actions: Political Subdivisions. There is no duty on the part of a political subdivision, or any other party, to inform an adversary of the existence of a statute of limitations or other nuances of the law.

         [25 Neb.App. 210] Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Horacio J. Wheelock, Judge. Affirmed.

          Paul M. Muia, of Law Offices of Paul M. Muia, for appellant.

          Ryan M. Kunhart and Jeffrey J. Blumel, of Dvorak Law Group, L.L.C., and Kelsey M. Weiler, of Abrahams, Kaslow & Cassman, L.L.P, for appellees.

          Moore, Chief Judge, and Bishop and Arterburn, Judges.

          Arterburn, Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Eunice Nyamatore appeals from an order of the district court which granted summary judgment in favor of Barbara J. Schuerman and Omaha Transit Authority (collectively OTA). On appeal, Nyamatore argues the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of OTA. She also asserts that the district court erred in finding that equitable estoppel did not apply in this matter. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         On June 19, 2015, Nyamatore was a passenger on a bus owned and operated by OTA. The bus was involved in an accident, and Nyamatore suffered injuries as a result of the accident. Nyamatore, through counsel, sent a letter of notice of claim to Edith A. Simpson, the legal and human resources director for OTA. The ...


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