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Trudy Martin et al v. Board of Education For the Mid-East Career and

November 3, 2011

TRUDY MARTIN ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR THE MID-EAST CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY CENTERS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



CHARACTER OF PROCEEDING: Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. CC2009-0469

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Farmer, J.

Cite as Martin v. Bd. of Edn. for Mid-E. Career & Technology Ctrs.,

JUDGMENT:

: JUDGES: : Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. : Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J : Hon. Julie A. Edwards, J.

: OPINION

Affirmed

{¶1} On October 2, 2008, appellant, Janelle Martin, was a junior at Mid-East Career and Technology Center. On said date, she sustained injuries to her hand while operating a log splitter machine while in a natural resources lab class. Janelle's teacher was appellee, Brian Wilfong.

{¶2} On June 18, 2009, Janelle's mother, Trudy Martin, as parent and next friend of Janelle Martin, filed a complaint against the school and appellee alleging in pertinent part willfull, wanton, and reckless student supervision and student training and education. The school was subsequently dismissed on June 7, 2010.

{¶3} On November 23, 2010, appellee filed a motion for summary judgment. By judgment entry filed March 7, 2011, the trial court granted the motion and dismissed appellants' claims.

{¶4} Appellants filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. Assignment of error is as follows:

I

{¶5} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT GRANTED DEFENDANTAPPELLEE WILFONG'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNDER CIVIL RULE 56(C). THE DECISION WAS IN ERROR AND SHOULD BE REVERSED."

I

{¶6} Appellants claim the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to appellee under the sovereign immunity doctrine as there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether appellee acted willfully, wantonly, or recklessly in failing to train and supervise Janelle in the use of the log splitter. We disagree.

{¶7} Summary Judgment motions are to be resolved in light of the dictates of Civ.R. 56. Said rule was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Ohio in State ex rel. Zimmerman v. Tompkins, 75 Ohio St.3d 447, 448, 1996-Ohio-211:

{¶8} "Civ.R. 56(C) provides that before summary judgment may be granted, it must be determined that (1) no genuine issue as to any material fact remains to be litigated, (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and (3) it appears from the evidence that reasonable minds can come to but one conclusion, and viewing such evidence most strongly in favor of the nonmoving party, that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made. State ex. rel. Parsons v. Fleming (1994), 68 Ohio St.3d 509, 511, 628 N.E.2d 1377, 1379, citing Temple v. Wean United, Inc. (1977), 50 Ohio St.2d 317, 327, 4 O.O3d 466, 472, 364 N.E.2d 267, 274."

{¶9} As an appellate court reviewing summary judgment motions, we must stand in the shoes of the trial court and review summary judgments on the same standard and evidence as the trial court. Smiddy v. The Wedding Party, Inc. (1987), 30 Ohio St.3d 35.

{¶10} An employee of a political subdivision is immune from liability in a pure negligence action. However, as conceded by the parties, an employee may be liable for actions that are willful, wanton, or reckless:

{¶11} "(6) In addition to any immunity or defense referred to in division (A)(7) of this section and in circumstances not covered by that division or sections 3314.07 and 3746.24 of the Revised Code, the employee is immune from liability unless one of the following applies:

{¶12} "(a) The employee's acts or omissions were manifestly outside the scope of the employee's employment or official responsibilities;

{¶13} "(b) The employee's acts or omissions were with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner;

{ΒΆ14} "(c) Civil liability is expressly imposed upon the employee by a section of the Revised Code. Civil liability shall not be construed to exist under another section of the Revised Code merely because that section imposes a responsibility or mandatory duty upon an employee, because that section provides for a criminal penalty, because of a general authorization in that section that an employee may ...


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