Mediation concludes Putnam CTC student's lawsuit

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 2, 2013

WINFIELD - A lawsuit against the Putnam County Board of Education has been mediated, settled and dismissed from Putnam Circuit Court.

American Industrial Direct LLC, which is doing business as Auto Body Toolmart; and Champ Frame Straightening Equipment Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit.

A motion for summary judgment was filed on Sept. 27 in which American Industrial Direct respectfully requested the court to enter an order granting its motion for summary judgment, dismissing it from the lawsuit and entering a judgment in its favor and against all other parties due to the "lack of any conclusive evidence establishing the cause" of Itson's fall.

On Oct. 22, a mediation letter was filed in Putnam Circuit Court. In the letter, John F. Cyrus of Cyrus & Adkins, the mediator, stated that mediation was held on Sept. 25 and all claims asserted in the complaint were agreed fully compromised and settled, including cross-claims by and between the defendants.

Vickie Itson was a student at Putnam Career and Technical Center in the Collision Repair Program and on March 12, 2010, was in class when she became caught on a bolt sticking out from the base of the adjustable paint/work ladder and tripped and fell to the ground, according to a complaint filed March 7, 2012, in Putnam Circuit Court.

Itson claimed due to tripping and falling, she sustained severe and life-changing injuries, including a greater tuberosity fracture of the humerus and a brachial plexus injury.

A shop camera captured Itson’s entire fall and her instructor, as well as several others, watched the video, according to the suit, but, despite requests, the video has not been produced.

Itson claimed after watching the video, her instructor cut off the excess of the bolt that was sticking out from the portable steps that caused her to trip.

The defendants negligently supervised and failed to provide adequate training, including correct safety standards to assemble the adjustable paint/work ladder, which was manufactured and distributed by American Industrial Direct and Champ Frame, according to the suit.

Itson and her husband, Frazier Itson, were seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They were being represented by Sandra B. Harrah and C. Michael Bee of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler PLLC.

The Putnam County Board of Education was represented by Duane J. Ruggier II of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe PLLC.

The case was assigned to Circuit Judge O.C. Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 12-C-73

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