Settlement reached in case over Fayette teacher striking child

By Kyla Asbury | May 11, 2015

FAYETTEVILLE – An order approving minor settlement has been filed in a lawsuit against Fayette County Board of Education for allegations over a teacher striking a Kindergarten student.


FAYETTEVILLE – An order approving minor settlement has been filed in a lawsuit against Fayette County Board of Education for allegations over a teacher striking a Kindergarten student.


The order was filed March 27 in Fayette Circuit Court and states that AIG Property & Casualty has offered to pay a settlement totaling $15,000 for a complete settlement and release of all claims arising from the incident.


The court also approved legal expenses in the amount of $439.73 and attorney's fees in the amount of $5,000.


The net settlement awarded to J.A.T. is $9,560.27 and will be deposited in an FDIC-insured, interest-bearing, savings account or other appropriate investment account approved by the court in the name of the child, according to the settlement.


J.A.T., by and through his parent and next friend, Mary T.P., filed a lawsuit Oct. 6, in Fayette Circuit Court against the Fayette County Board of Education and Kathleen Wade, citing battery.


J.A.T. was a student at Fayetteville Elementary School under the supervision of Wade, a teacher at the school, on a trip to the library on May 2, 2013, when Wade smacked J.A.T. on the top of his head and then shook his head, alleging it was a disciplinary measure, according to the suit.


The complaint states the incident and another incident involving Wade and another kindergartner that same day were investigated by police and found not to constitute child abuse, but battery. Wade was found guilty of battery May 9, 2014.


The Board of Education is accused of vicarious liability for actions/inactions of Wade, negligence, breach of non-delegable duty, negligent hire and supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and recklessness in failing to supervise Wade and ignoring signs that Wade had previously struck small children.


Wade is accused of failing to comply with West Virginia public school standards in her failure to self-report the battery of young children.


The plaintiffs were seeking damages, interest, and attorney fees. They were represented by J.C. Powell of Powell and Majestro.


Fayette County Board of Education was represented by Ashley L. Justice of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe PLLC.


The case was assigned to Circuit Judge Paul M. Blake Jr.


Fayette Circuit Court case number: 14-C-287

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