Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Motion hearing scheduled in student’s mother’s suit alleging son injured when tent collapsed

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 9, 2016

General court 08

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson scheduled a motion hearing to address a Belleville school district’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging a student was injured when a tent collapsed at a school picnic.

Gleeson scheduled the motion hearing for June 11 at 9 a.m.


He also scheduled a status conference for June 27 at 9 a.m.

Jacqueline Tunstall filed the lawsuit as the mother and natural guardian of minor Ryan Neal McKinzie Tunstall on May 12 against Belleville School District 118.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff’s child was attending a school picnic on May 12, 2014, when a tent collapsed and a support pole struck him in the head. The plaintiff claims the boy sustained traumatic injuries to the left side of his head.

The school is accused of negligence in supervising or erecting the tent.

Tunstall seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorney’s fees and costs.

Belleville School District 118 filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint on Dec. 17 through attorneys Barney Mundorf and Sarah Knoploh of Guin Mundorf in Collinville. It argues that it did not owe a duty of care to the student and that it is immune from liability.

Tunstall responded to the defendant's motion to dismiss on Feb. 12 through attorney Michael McGlynn of Belleville. She argues that the Local Government Tort Immunity provisions are not applicable in this case because evidence indicates the school district created the dangerous condition.

“In this case, the School District created the dangerous condition. It erected a tent in such a negligent manner that the support beam collapsed hitting the minor Plaintiff in his head. The willful and wanton standard does not apply in this case,” the response states.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-286

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