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John Inserra
John Inserra
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Federal Preemption Strikes Again

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The Nebraska Court of Appeals in the case of Alice Tolbert and Chaz Tolbert, Personal Representatives of the Estates of Victoria Lynn Tolbert Burgess and Tisha Cassandra Tolbert, et al., appellants, v. Omaha Housing Authority, a political subdivision, et al., appellees,  found that plaintiffs were Federally preempted from bring a negligence claim against the Omaha Housing Authority, claiming the Authority was reckless in it’s inspection and enforcement of safety standards that led to the death of the tenants.  The court found:

“Therefore, even if we accept all of the plaintiffs’ allegations in their complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiffs, federal law clearly states that the plaintiffs have no private right to bring an action against OHA to recover damages. We hold that the federal law regarding Section 8 housing was clearly meant to be overriding and that therefore, federal law preempts any Nebraska law on the matter. Therefore, under Nebraska law, a Section 8 tenant may not bring an action against a public housing authority for failure to inspect rental properties and enforce the housing quality standards.”