High school seeks to dismiss lawsuit alleging freshman lost teeth in gym class

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 18, 2013


A local high school has filed a motion to dismiss a minor boy’s personal injury lawsuit alleging he lost his teeth after colliding with another student in gym class.

East Alton Wood River Community High School filed a motion to dismiss on Oct. 16 through attorney Donald J. Ohl of Knapp, Ohl & Green in Edwardsville claiming it is entitled to immunities according to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunities Act.

The plaintiff seeks recovery under willful and wanton conduct and negligence, claiming it was the duty of the school to “refrain from acting in reckless disregard for the safety of its students.’”

The school moves to dismiss the complaint “because a public employee serving in a position involving the determination of policy to 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.”

According to plaintiff Amanda Lane’s two-count complaint filed Sept. 18, she claims her 9th 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 alleges. “The two teammates collided head to head, causing the plaintiff to fall backwards, striking his head on the gym floor.”

Lane blames the school for causing her son’s injuries, claiming it negligently required him to participate in a game that the school knew was dangerous but failed to adequately instruct O’Brien on the methods required to play.

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

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder scheduled a motion hearing for Nov. 22 at 9 a.m.

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

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1587

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