Lawsuit against GESD and a teacher dismissed

JOHNSTOWN — A civil case against the Gloversville Enlarged School District and one of its physical education teachers involving a hurt child in 2017 was recently dismissed in its entirety, lawyers for the district said.

The case involved Susan L. Miller of Gloversville — acting as her own attorney — filing a civil suit March 20, 2018 in state Supreme Court in Johnstown. She had alleged negligence in the suit against the district Board of Education, McNab Elementary School gym teacher Jason Webber, and a second-grade teacher’s aide whose name who was not identified.

Court papers had alleged Miller’s son was involved in a school district-sanctioned game known as “two base” at about 9:15 a.m. May 11, 2017 in the McNab gym. Webber gave “inadequate instruction” to his students, the suit had alleged. Miller’s son was “hit in the mouth by another student,” court papers said.

Paperwork obtained by The Leader-Herald this week from lawyers for the Gloversville school district — Maynard, O’Connor, Smith & Catalinotto LLP of Albany — indicates “the case has been dismissed in its entirety” against both the district and Webber. The dismissal followed an affidavit signed by Webber indicating he wasn’t at the school at the time of the student’s injury.

Attorneys also noted in an April 25 letter to Webber that verification was received that the gym teacher was in the military on the day in question — May 11, 2017.

“In support of our motion, we had presented extensive proof that you were not even at school that day, and were carrying out your military obligations,” the letter from attorney Robert Rausch states. “Ultimately, the court did not need to address that issue, but held that the underlying case against both you and the school district was untimely, and that the Millers had failed to raise any excuse for their delays.”

Webber was at Air Assault School, undergoing Army National Guard military training in Camp Gruber, Okla. at the time of the incident.

The original complaint had alleged “negligent supervision” and “breach of duty” by Webber.

In the McNab school game, the suit said there were 10 students at each base. When the teacher would turn on the radio, the students would run from one base to the next until the music stopped. The lawsuit alleged that during one part of the game, the teacher, identified as Webber in the paperwork, turned on the music and went outside the gym, meeting with the aide out of sight of the children.

Miller’s son was “hit in the mouth by another student,” court papers said. At the time of the head-to-head contact, the victim couldn’t get out of the way because of children on both sides confined his ability to escape injury. Court papers say Miller’s son’s eventually had a root canal procedure done.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Kerry Minor

Leave a Reply