Private Toll Road Should Not Have Immunity

The private company leasing the Indiana Toll Road is arguing it has governmental immunity from a lawsuit filed by a driver hurt in a crash that she claims happened when the highway was dangerous for travel.

More details in the Indy Star article here.

This is a bad idea. Government’s are typically immune from many lawsuits, especially for things like clearing snow and ice from roads during storms. But private companies that operate roads should not be immune. First of all, on of the advantages of private operation of roads is that they are more accountable and performance based than the government is. Second, in this case, they have a lease agreement that spells out their obligation for keeping the the road safe during a storm, or to close it if they cannot. Arguing in court is a bad precedent that could give a black eye to privatizing toll roads, and a cop out.