Student injury lawsuit dismissed

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By Stephen Lega

A lawsuit filed against local school officials regarding a student injury has been dismissed.

On June 15, Marion Circuit Judge Dan Kelly dismissed a claim filed on behalf of Rosie Dyer against Glasscock Elementary Principal Lee Ann Divine and teacher Lena Murphy.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident that occurred Sept. 21, 2006. Dyer was a student at Glasscock Elementary at that time. She was knocked into A metal basketball pole, and as a result, she received a skull fracture, an epidural hemotoma (a blood clot at the covering of the brain), and she underwent brain surgery, her attorney, Albert Q. McQueen, said at the time the lawsuit was filed.

Originally, Paul Dyer (Rosie Dyer's father) filed the lawsuit on her behalf against the Marion County Board of Education, Divine and Murphy.

The suit claimed that Divine and Murphy "failed to exercise ordinary care for the health and safety of [Rosie Dyer] and such failure was a substantial factor in causing the incident and injuries."

The complaint also read that the board of education was "vicariously liable" for the actions of its employees.

The school board was dismissed from the lawsuit Feb. 11, 2008, based on the doctrine of governmental immunity. The school district sought the same immunity for Divine and Murphy, but that immunity was not granted by then-Circuit Judge Doughlas George.

Last month, however, Judge Kelly decided that Divine and Murphy were entitled to the same immunity as the school board.

"If the agency is immune, then officers and employees of that agency enjoy the same immunity as the agency when sued in their official capacity," Kelly wrote.

Kelly also concluded that neither Divine nor Murphy had been negligent in their duties. Likewise, he ruled that they had acted in good faith in the performance of their duties.

While the case has been dismissed, the Dyers have the option of appealing the decision.