Tolbert v. Omaha Housing Authority

16 Neb. App. 618 (2008)

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Tolbert v. Omaha Housing Authority

Nebraska Court of Appeals
16 Neb. App. 618 (2008)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

Alice Tolbert (plaintiff) filed an action in a Nebraska trial court against the Omaha Housing Authority (Omaha) (defendant) for failing to ensure the rental property it provided for low-income families complied with appropriate housing standards. Omaha was a local government agency that worked with the federal government to administer the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 subsidy program, which helped low-income families obtain housing. Tolbert sued Omaha after a family member with a disability perished in a fire because the emergency exits did not meet appropriate standards. The fire occurred on property that Omaha had provided. Tolbert argued that Omaha, as a public-housing authority, showed willful and reckless disregard for the safety of the families participating in the Section 8 program by failing to inspect the property to ensure it was safe and sanitary and had adequate emergency fire exits. Omaha moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that any state-law claims were preempted by federal law, and federal law barred a Section 8 tenant from filing an action against a public-housing authority. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss. The matter was appealed to the Nebraska Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Carlson, J.)

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