19 Action News has uncovered new information on a tangled web of costly lawsuits in the Nordonia Hills School system. The Supreme Court of Ohio has sided with a fired bus driver and against the district.
Back in July 19 Action News reported that Nordonia lost its case in the Ohio Court of Appeals. We wondered if they'd go through more cash and go to the Supreme Court and they did. 19 Action News did not get a straight answer from then Superintendent J. Wayne Blankenship when we wondered why a cash strapped district would do that.
"Not costing the taxpayers anything, no they paid the insurance premium already years ago," said Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark.
New superintendent Dr. Joe Clark explains that the districts liability for any payout is on its insurance company, one the district no longer uses. So if they lose, Nordonia won't pay through increased premiums. In effect the insurance company is driving the bus now.
The basis of Tina Haynal's suit against the district was the fact that she says she was harrassed, discriminated against and constantly reprimanded. Her claim is that she was targeted for discipline after she settled a lawsuit over her 1998 firing for $60,000 and her job back. They fired her again in 2005.
Tina sued again, but at trial the Judge wouldn't let her attorney show the jury evidence of her re-hiring or that the district paid her to settle the earlier suit. She went to the Court of Appeals and won.
The Supreme Court agreed with Tina reasoning that if she couldn't establish her earlier victory over the district, how could she prove retaliation. So it's back to Summit County for a new trial.
"I believe that they are probably not willing to settle because I think they think they have a good case," said Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark.
Tina Haynal's attorney's believe they will win. On it goes, but at least not at taxpayers expense.
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