Court Rules Suit Over Student’s Death Can Proceed

May 29, 2012

The Utah Supreme Court has paved the way for a lawsuit over the November 2008 death of a St. George high school student to proceed in federal court.

In a 3-2 decision handed down Friday, justices ruled school districts can’t avoid such litigation under a state law that provides immunity to government agencies.

The parents of 15-year-old Tucker Thayer filed the wrongful death suit against the Washington County School District and others after he was killed while handling a blank-firing prop pistol before a school play.

Ron and Cathie Thayer are seeking more than $2 million in damages for the death that occurred before a presentation of “Oklahoma.”

The federal court turned the immunity issue over to the Utah high court because it raised a new question of state law.

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