Members Obtain Summary Judgement

Bailey & Wyant Members, Jennifer Tully and John Fuller recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of the Mingo County Board of Education.

Plaintiff alleged that on August 17, 2016, a bus owned by the Mingo County Board of Education was operated negligently and carelessly causing it to cross into and to obstruct Plaintiff’s lane of traffic and that as a result, she was forced to drive off the roadway and crash to avoid hitting the defendant's school bus. Plaintiff was significantly injured as a result of the accident and filed suit against the Board of Education alleging negligence and loss of consortium on behalf of her husband.

At the time of the accident, Plaintiff was driving a company owned vehicle and driving home following the conclusion of her work day. As a result of the accident, she filed a Worker’s Compensation claim. The claim was originally denied, but following an appeal by Plaintiff was determined to be a compensable claim. Ms. Tully and Mr. Fuller filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of the Board arguing that because Workers’ Compensation Benefits are available to the Plaintiff, pursuant to W. Va. Code § 29-12A-5, the Mingo County Board of Education is statutorily immune from the Plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff then filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint to add the bus driver as a party to the case, which the Board opposed as being futile in nature because the immunity afforded to the Board of Education would extend to the bus driver.

On January 9, 2018, following a hearing on both motions, the Court entered an Order granting the Mingo County Board of Education’s Motion for Summary Judgment for immunity and denying the Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend the Complaint as being futile in nature.