David Williamson Case

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Case Identification: DONNA BUSHONG and GARY BUSHONG, (Parents of JONATHAN BUSHONG)Appellants-Plaintiffs vs. DAVID WILLIAMSON Appellee-Defendant.
No. 54A01-0103-CV-100

Facts: David Williamson was a P.E. teacher for the South Montgomery School Corporation (School) in New Market, Indiana. On March 20, 1998, he was involved in an incident with two students in his physical education class. While playing kickball with his fifth grade physical education class, he tagged Jonathan Bushong out. Jonathan then kicked Mr. Williamson in the buttocks. When Jonathan attempted to kick Williamson a second time, after receiving a verbal warning not to kick him again, Williamson caught Jonathan’s foot and picked him up at the ankle. While holding Jonathan in
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Williamson’s employment? Was this even battery at all? The plaintiffs did not want that to be the case, as there is a law preventing personal lawsuits against federal employees acting within the scope of their employment.
Holding: The trial court has determined that Mr. Williamson was outside of the scope of his employment. The appellate court however, determined that he was within the scope of his employment and this cannot be sued personally.
Reasoning: FRIEDLANDER, Judge stated he believed the trial court correctly concluded that the allegation of negligence upon which the Bushongs’ action is premised was against a government employee acting within the scope of his employment. Judge Friedlander quoted Ind. Code Ann. § 34-13-3-5(a) prohibits a lawsuit against a public employee for actions committed while the employee was acting within the scope of employment, for his reasoning to dissent or reverse judgement. The language of that provision is clear and unmistakable, and upon that limitation we are all agreed. “I part company with my colleagues, however, in their conclusion that subsection (a) is limited in application to, practically speaking, only those cases where the complaint uses language parroting the words of the statute.” Put another way, according to the majority, the prohibition against suing public employees applies only when the complaint, on its face, asserts that the allegedly negligent
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