Teacher Entitled To State-Agent Immunity – Failure To Attach Deposition Excerpts To Opposition To Summary Judgment

Ex parte Williamson, [Ms. 1200347, Sept. 3, 2021] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2021). The Court (Wise, J.; Bolin, Shaw, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur; Parker, C.J., dissents) issues a writ of mandamus to the Tuscaloosa Circuit Court directing dismissal of claims asserted by Re. W., a 20-year old student with mental disabilities, against Williams, a teacher with the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education. While enrolled in CrossingsPoints, a collaborative program of the Board and the University of Alabama college, Re. W. was sexually abused in a Lowe’s parking lot when left alone in a CrossingsPoint van with another student while Williamson was assisting two other students applying for a job at Lowe’s.

The Court explains that “[b]ecause Williamson established that she was performing a discretionary function that could entitle her to State-agent immunity, the burden then shifted to Re. W. to establish that “‘one of the two categories of exceptions to State-agent immunity recognized in Cranman is applicable.’” Ex parte City of Montgomery, 99 So. 3d 282, 293 (Ala. 2012).” Ms. *14. Re. W. attempted to establish a Cranman exception by relying on the deposition of another teacher, Olivia Robinson, that a teacher or aide was required to be with Re. W. at all times.

The Court rejects this argument because

Although Re. W. referenced and purported to quote portions of pages 53and 54 of Olivia Robinson’s deposition, she did not attach those pages to her response in opposition to Williamson’s motion for a summary judgment. Also, Williamson did not attach those pages of Robinson’s deposition in support of her motion for a summary judgment. Therefore, based on the materials before us, that purported evidence was not actually before the trial court and could not be used as a basis for finding that there was a rule, regulation, or policy that required Williamson to stay with Re. W. from the time the van was parked until they left that location.

Ms. *15, citing Autauga Creek Craft House, LLC v. Brust, 315 So. 3d 614, 627 (Ala. Civ. App. 2020).

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