Suit claims deputy's distraction led to injury

By Philip Gonzales | Jun 21, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE — A man is suing the County Commission of Fayette County, alleging negligence and insufficient measures taken to prevent injuries.

Austin Joseph Goodwin filed a complaint on June 8 in Fayette Circuit Court against County Commission of Fayette County alleging that Deputy Matthew Kessler negligently permitted the students to depart from the school premises.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on June 9, 2014, in the course of Oak Hill High School students' unauthorized and unsupervised activities, a student grabbed him and threw him to the ground causing him to suffer serious injury to his arm, a compound fracture to the humerus bone. As a result of the incident, he incurred more than $206,826 in medical expenses. The plaintiff holds the County Commission of Fayette County responsible because the defendant's employee, Deputy Matthew Kessler, a school resource officer, allegedly was engaged in telephone conversation or texting while he was on duty.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendant in an amount as may be justified by evidence. He is represented by Kevin B. Burgess, Christopher B. Frost and Steven R. Broadwater of Hamilton, Burgess, Young & Pollard PLLC in Fayetteville.

Fayette Circuit Court Case number 16-C-167 (H)

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