Crowder dismisses personal injury lawsuit against East Alton Wood River High

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 12, 2013


Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder granted a local high school’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging a freshman lost his teeth after colliding with another student in gym class.

Defendant East Alton Wood River High School filed its motion to dismiss the two-count complaint on Oct. 16. It claims it is immune under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act.

The suit had sought recovery for willful and wanton conduct, accusing the defendant of “reckless disregard for the safety of its students," and for alleged negligence.

The defendant argued that the complaint “fails to allege the proper legal duty applicable” for both willful and wanton conduct and negligence against a local public entity.

“Defendant also moves to dismiss [Counts I and II] of plaintiff’s complaint because a public employee serving in a position involving the determination of policy or the exercise of discretion is not liable for an injury resulting from his/her act or omission in determining policy when acting in the exercise of such discretion even though abused,” the motion states.

Crowder granted the motion on Nov. 22, giving the plaintiff 28 days to amend the complaint.

According to plaintiff Amanda Lane’s two-count complaint filed Sept. 18, she claims her ninth grade son, Hunter O’Brien, was playing a game called Town Ball in gym class at East Alton Wood River High School on Sept. 18, 2012. She alleges that the game required players to run toward bases in opposite directions while also paying attention to the play in the field, the suit states.

“The plaintiff, while running from third to second base, collided with a teammate running from second to third base,” the complaint alleged. “The two teammates collided head to head, causing the plaintiff to fall backwards, striking his head on the gym floor.”

Lane sought a judgment of more than $100,000.

Samuel A. Mormino Jr. of Mormino, Belloff & Snider in Alton is representing the plaintiff.

Donald J. Ohl of Knapp, Ohl & Green in Edwardsville represents East Alton Wood River Community High School.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1587

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