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School district seeks to quash depositions

A Galveston County judge said she would decide early next week whether to allow a law firm to question school officials in the death of a student-athlete who collapsed on a basketball court in January.

Probate Judge Gladys Burwell heard arguments Friday from Sean O’Rourke of the Buzbee Law Firm, which is investigating the death of Kailynn Boclair, 13, a Hitchcock Middle School basketball player.

Boclair died Jan. 14 of abnormal congenital coronary artery disease, a condition undetectable by a stress test or echocardiogram, the medical examiner reported.

Lori Hood of the Houston law firm Preis and Roy said the state provides school districts immunity from lawsuits, and that a request to depose Superintendent Mike Bergman or board member Mark Morgan is unnecessary.

Morgan, a Galveston firefighter, was at the game and rendered aid the night Boclair collapsed, O’Rourke said.

Bergman has said the visiting team used its defibrillator on Boclair because Hitchcock’s was in another room.

“The point here is that there is absolute immunity for the school district and its trustees when sued for negligence,” Hood said.

O’Rourke, however, cited two previous cases in which school officials were deposed, but Hood said those weren’t immunity cases.

O’Rourke said his firm is investigating any potential claim, but a lawsuit isn’t anticipated.

Burwell said she would read the both law firms’ cases and rule on whether to allow the depositions by the first of next week.

 

Chris Paschenko
Galveston Daily News
April 12, 2008
Hitchcock, Texas