In the Circuit Court of Taylor County, West Virginia
DOE and JANE DOE, individually,
and as next friends of their handicapped minor son,
WITHERS, individually, and in his capacity as a teacher at Grafton
High School; GREG CARTWRIGHT, individually, and in his capacity
as a teacher at Grafton High School; WENDELL TEETS, individually
and in his capacity as Superintendent of Schools of Taylor County; and
the TAYLOR COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, a public corporation,
On June 9, 1993, thereupon came a jury of six (6) good and lawful jurors selected according to law to well and truly try the issues between the Plaintiffs, Robert Devart, Virginia Devart and Douglas Devart, and Defendants, Michael Withers, Greg Cartwright, Wendell Teets and the Taylor County Board of Education, and a true verdict render according to the evidence and so help you God.
On June 9, 1993, the jury heard opening statements on behalf of the Plaintiffs and Defendants and part of the testimony on behalf of the Plaintiffs.
On June 10, 1993, the jury heard the balance of the testimony on behalf of the plaintiffs. Thereupon, each of the defendants moved for a directed verdict. The Court granted the motions as to defendants Taylor County Board of Education, Wendell Teets and Greg Cartwright and denied the motion as to defendant Michael Withers. The defendant rested his case without additional testimony and after hearing the instructions of the court, the matter was argued by counsel.
The jury retired to their chambers to deliberate and did so on June 10, 1993 and after some time, the jury returned into Court and upon their oath and found in favor of the Plaintiff, Douglas Devart, and against the Defendant, Michael Withers, and awarded damages in favor of Douglas Devart in the amount of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) compensatory damages and Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) punitive damages.
It is therefore ADJUDGED, ORDERED and DECREED that the Plaintiff, Douglas Devart, recover of and from the Defendant, Michael Withers, the sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), with interest at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum from June 10, 1993, and the costs of this action.
ENTERED this 16th day of June, 1993.
John L. Waters, Judge
Bill Byrne represented a a profoundly deaf high school student
who ran afoul of an age rule that prevented him from playing interescholastic
sports in J. R. Traylor v Board of Education. Mr. Byrne based
his case on the West Virginia Human Rights Act and the obligation for
reasonable accomodation under state law, which was better than federal
law on this issue.