Residents May Not Sue Their Own State Unless State Agrees To Be Sued

1987

Texas highway worker Jean Welch is injured while working on a ferry dock. She sues her employer, the state of Texas, in federal court. The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in Welch v. Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation, that citizens cannot sue their own states in federal courts unless the state has passed a law allowing for citizens to sue. As no specific state law grants consent to sue, the worker’s case is dismissed.