The cash-strapped Nordonia Hills School District is spending more money on legal fees. The superintendent is now taking the case of the fired bus driver to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Bus driver Tina Haynal complaining in 2005 that she was targeted for dismissal by Nordonia Hills officials, specifically superintendent J. Wayne Blankenship. She says she was singled out after she prevailed in a lawsuit over a 1998 firing. She settled that case for $60,000 after it went to the court of appeals and got her job back.
When she was fired again in 2005 she sued again, bringing up the retaliation claim. She lost in court. The case cost the district an estimated $200,000. But this June after years of legal wrangling in the Court of Appeals she won, even more money spent by the cash strapped district.
The higher court ruled that Tina wasn't allowed to present evidence about the earlier firing, her lawsuit and the cash settlement she got from the district. The court of appeals said that those facts could have changed the jury's verdict had they been presented.
Now the district is appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court. Earlier this month it's lawyers filed claiming the case has impact on the State of Ohio. It also accuses Tina of being a bad even dangerous bus driver guilty of just about everything except throwing kids out the windows of the bus.
Superintendent Blankenship would have you believe lawsuits don't cost the district anything because it's attorney's are covered by insurance. Common sense explodes that argument. Facing a $2.9 million deficit and failed levy's in November, February, May and this month you have to question the wisdom of going back to court.
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