West Virginia Record

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Charleston attorney sues Kanawha school board

By John O'Brien | May 30, 2006

CHARLESTON - A Charleston attorney is suing the Kanawha County Board of Education for not complying with his request for insurance information.

J. Michael Ranson of Ranson Law Offices filed the lawsuit May 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court and claims Superintendent Ron Duerring never responded to a letter he sent.

Ranson was seeking certain information regarding the construction of an insurance policy and says the Freedom of Information Act was violated.

"The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know," the complaint says.

Ranson says he sent a letter to Duerring on April 26 that stated, "This request involves information in which you have notified all principals that in order for citizens to use the Board's property that they must have liability insurance in the amount of $1 million."

Ranson wished to see records of: All Board meetings in which the policy was discussed; all Board resolutions adopting the policy; all studies or reports done that helped the Board arrive at a conclusion that each group of individuals should have a separate $1 million liability policy; payments for the Board for its present liability coverage; documents received from the Board of Risk and Insurance Management requesting the additional insurance; a copy of all claims or lawsuits filed against the Board in which negligence of an outside group is alleged to have caused an injury while using Board property; documents reflecting any amounts paid as a resut of any suits or claims; and certificates of insurance that have been filed to date.

Ranson is seeking an order decreeing that the Board must produce these things.

Judge Charlie King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-976

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