Defendants ask for dismissal in Hopkins school board lawsuit

Nov 8, 2012

An engineering firm and insurance company have asked the Hopkins County Circuit Court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Hopkins County Board of Education concerning a sinking school building. The new career and technology center is on top of a reclaimed strip mine, which Associated Engineers Inc. deemed stable. But just months after construction started engineers discovered cracks in the foundation and unstable soil. Now the project requires remediation efforts.

Attorney Michael Owsley  represents the Hopkins County School District and says asking for a dismissal is customary in a court case.

“Essentially both Travelers and AEI have in their answers denied many of the allegations and asked for the claim to be dismissed," Owsley said. "They have not, to my knowledge, have not filed a separate motion with the court to request dismissal. So the fact they have asked the case to be dismissed, it is what any lawyer does in a case every time.”

Owsley says the case continues and expects to see movement in the case within the next month. He said the school district is seeking more than $5 million in damages.

The two defendants cite separate reasons for a dismissal. Insurance company Traveler’s Property Casualty Company says it denied the school district’s claim for damages due to its coverage limits. Associated Engineers Inc. claims independent and superseding causes for foundation and soil issues, also known as an act of god. Despite the lawsuit, remediation has started on the Tech Center and officials say it will open in August of 2013.