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Amos v. Jackson Pub. Sch. Dist.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 20, 2014

DERRICK M. AMOS, SR., AS NEXT FRIEND OF DERRICK M. AMOS, JR., APPELLANT
v.
JACKSON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT AND SUPERINTENDENT DR. LONNIE EDWARDS, APPELLEES

Page 121

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/29/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM A. GOWAN JR. TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED JUDGMENT OF THE COUNTY COURT IN FAVOR OF DEFENDANT.

FOR APPELLANT: PRECIOUS TYRONE MARTIN, SUZANNE GRIGGINS KEYS.

FOR APPELLEES: JOANNE N. SHEPHERD, LULA MAE ANDERSON, KASHONDA LEKESHA DAY.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 122

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY

JAMES, J.

¶1. Derrick Amos Sr. (Amos) filed a negligence action on behalf of his minor son, Derrick Amos Jr. (Derrick), against the Jackson Public School District (JPSD) in the County Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, for injuries Derrick suffered during a recreational football game at school. Following a bench trial, the trial court entered a judgment in favor of the JPSD, after finding that the JPSD was not negligent. Amos appealed to the Circuit Court of Hinds County, and the circuit court affirmed. Amos now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. In 2008, Derrick was a student at Chastain Middle School. On April 25, 2008, Derrick's math teacher, Anthony Burkett, took his math class outside as a reward for the class's positive examination results. Derrick and other male students decided to play a game of football. During the game, Derrick broke his thumb when he tackled another student. On October 24, 2008, Amos filed a complaint in the County Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County against the JPSD alleging that the JPSD was negligent in allowing the students to play tackle football. The JPSD filed an answer asserting among its defenses immunity under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act (MTCA) pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 11-46-9(1) (Rev. 2012).

¶3. A bench trial was held on January 27, 2010. At trial Derrick testified that he was injured when he tackled another student, DeAndre Jones. Derrick testified that during the class period, Burkett was using his cellular phone and was not properly supervising the class. According to Derrick, Burkett never told the students not to tackle. DeAndre also testified that Burkett did not instruct the students not to tackle. DeAndre testified that he saw Burkett with a cellular phone in his hand; however, DeAndre could not say for certain whether Burkett was using the phone at the time of the incident.

¶4. Burkett testified that he told the students not to play tackle football. Burkett stated that he witnessed at least one tackle prior to Derrick's injury and again instructed the students not to tackle. Burkett denied that he was using his phone at the time of the incident.

¶5. At the close Amos's evidence, the JPSD moved for a directed verdict in its favor on the ground of immunity under the MTCA. ...


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