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Mediation Settles West Virginia Board of Education Lawsuit

Friday, December, 6, 2013


A lawsuit stemming from injuries allegedly sustained during a classroom fall at Putnam Career and Technical Center has been resolved through the process of mediation.  A student named Vickie Itson became caught on a bolt sticking out from an adjustable work ladder and fell.  She claimed the fall was due to a failure of proper site maintenance and that her injuries included a greater tuberosity fracture of the humerus and a brachial plexus injury and that both were considered severe and life-changing.  Itson was a student in a Collision Repair class at the time.


Itson further claimed that her fall prompted the instructor to cut the bolt off of the ladder to prevent future accidents.  Itson claimed the school failed to provide proper training and workplace safety standards as required by law.  They also named the ladder’s manufacturer and distributor, American Industrial Direct LLC (DBA Auto Body Toolmart) and Champ Frame Straightening Equipment Inc. in the suit.


American Industrial Direct filed a motion for summary judgment requesting it be dismissed from the lawsuit due to lack of evidence that any of its actions or nonactions caused Itson’s fall.


Before the judge could rule on the motion, a mediation was held, conducted by John F. Cyrus of Cyrus & Adkins in Putnam County, West Virginia.  In a filed mediation letter, Cyrus stated that “all claims asserted in the complaint were agreed fully compromised and settled, including cross-claims by and between the defendants.”


Details of the settlement were not released, but the matter is considered dropped and satisfactorily concluded by the Putnam County Board of Education.  No further actions regarding the class or instructors have been announced.  The tape of Itson’s fall has never been produced or ordered to be produced, despite requests during the suit.