A public entity claiming design immunity under Gov. Code 830.6 must establish three elements: (1) a causal relationship between the plan or design and the accident; (2) discretionary approval of the plan or design prior to construction; and (3) substantial evidence supporting the reasonableness of the plan or design. All that is required to establish the second element—discretionary approval—is evidence that an employee with discretionary authority approved the plan or design. The public entity does not need to show that the employee who approved the design actually considered the safety feature that plaintiff claims should have been included in the design. An omission of an available safety feature goes, instead, to the third element—whether there is substantial evidence supporting the reasonableness of the design.
California Court of Appeal, Fifth District (Hill, P.J.); March 27, 2018; 2018 WL 1514987