W.Va. State settles slip-and-fall suit for $18K

CHARLESTON –- West Virginia State University has settled a personal injury lawsuit with a Nitro woman.

Records show on June 25, Faith Burdette's suit against WVSU came to end when, in exchange for dismissing it, WVSU, through National Union Fire Insurance Company, agreed to pay her $18,000. The settlement included Burdette agreeing to reimburse Medicaid and Social Security for medical bills they paid for her injuries, and WVSU admitting no liability for it.

Judge Jennifer Walker approved the settlement on July 8.

According to the suit she filed in 2008, Burdette alleged she was injured on Aug. 23, 2006, after slipping and falling on a pool of water that accumulated from a broken water fountain in the Thomas J. Cole Complex. At the time, the Complex was home of West Virginia State Community and Technical College, and Burdette was a student.

The year Burdette filed her suit, the state Legislature passed a bill creating a separate system of community colleges. WVSC&TC later changed its name to Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College, and still rents space from WVSU while it transitions to a new facility at the Technical Center in South Charleston previously owned by Dow Chemical.

According to the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management, WVSU incurred $24,705.71 in legal expenses defending itself in the suit. The bulk, $19,509.26, was paid to Billie Jo Streyle with the Charleston law firm of Bailey and Wyant with $1,125 paid to the Huntington law firm of Cyrus and Adkins for mediating the settlement.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-3293

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