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Archives 07-25-2007
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Jury assigns 60% fault to county school system
Pickin’ & Grinnin' County Bluegrass Festival held on Livingston square

Whitney Sells crowned

Jury assigns 60% fault to county school system

A Putnam County jury presented a verdict on the Livingston Middle School camera lawsuit on Tuesday, July 17.

The case had been moved to Cookeville and the jury selected from Putnam County in order to have unbiased jurors. After weeks of testimony, and just over 4 years from the June 26, 2003 original filing of the lawsuit, which was later amended to add more children, a verdict form was presented.

In Case No. 3856-M, with 32 children named as plaintiffs and Overton County School Board and Edutech Inc. named as defendants, the jury found the following concerning Infliction of Emotional Distress:

Yes to “Do you find that the Overton County Board of Education employee(s) or agents negligently inflicted serious or severe emotional distress upon one or more of the children?”

Yes to “Do you find that Edutech Inc. negligently inflicted serious or
severe emotional distress upon one or more of the children?”

No to “Do you find that Edutech Inc. recklessly inflicted serious or severe emotional distress upon one or more of the children?”

Yes to “As to each child, do you find that the child’s agents or parents negligently inflicted serious or severe emotional distress on that child?”

The jury was asked to assign percentage of fault. For each of the 32 children, the jury found Overton County School Board 60% at fault, Edutech 20%, and the children’s agents or parents at 20%.

For the amount of damages, the jury assessed $40,000 per each child.

Concerning Invasion of Privacy, the jury stated no to “Do you find that Edutech Inc. intentionally invaded the privacy of the children and caused damage?”

Regarding punitive damages, the jury also said no to “Do you find by clear and convincing evidence that Edutech acted recklessly or intentionally, thereby causing injury to one or more of the children?”

The lawsuit had asked for $100,000 per child for compensatory damages, $2,500,000 for punitive damages, and a permanent injunction precluding Overton County School System from placing hidden video or audio surveillance equipment in areas of the school system where persons have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including but not limited to locker room changing areas, rest rooms, and shower areas.

The complaint read, “This is an action resulting from the placement of hidden video surveillance equipment by school officials in the locker room changing areas in the Livingston Middle School.”

And the complaint alleged, “The equipment obtained images of elementary school children in various stages of dress and undress.”

The lawsuit also alleged the images obtained by the hidden video surveillance equipment were stored on a hard drive accessible by remote Internet connection, and that the image system was accessed between July 12, 2002, and January 10, 2003.

The suit claimed the hard drive used with the surveillance equipment was located in the LMS assistant principal’s office, and that the username and password that could provide access through the remote internet connection remained at the factory default settings.

“In other words,” the suit stated, “there were no meaningful security protections to restrict access to the images of the children.”

The suit faulted Edutech for failing to provide adequate notice to children and other persons using the locker room changing areas in the Livingston Middle School that they would be subject to hidden video surveillance.

No charges were filed in connection with the video cameras at LMS, though law enforcement did investigate when the cameras were brought into question after girls on a visiting basketball team noticed them on January 9, 2003. The cameras, which were apparently digital still-shot models that feed into a processing unit, were reportedly taken down the following day. A TBI agent, along with an investigator from Livingston Police Department and an Overton County deputy, went to the school that evening to meet with school officials. The area in question was investigated and the processing unit for the school’s camera system was removed at that time for further investigation.

 

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Pickin' & Grinnin' County Bluegrass Festival held on Livingston square

Approximately 3,000 people attended this year’s event, which included gospel music on Friday night, bluegrass music throughout Saturday, on the stage and around the courthouse, food, and crafts.

Shadetree picking was found throughout the shaded area of the courthouse grounds during the 2-day annual event.

Dancers with Rhythm ‘N’ Motion entertain the large crowd during the Overton County Bluegrass Festival, held Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 on the Livingston square.

 

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Whitney Sells crowned



Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Winners in the Overton County Fairest of the Fair Pageant held Saturday, July 21 are, from left, 1st Runner-Up Betsy Ann Carr, 18 year-old daughter of Keith and Beth Carr, 2007 Fairest of the Fair Whitney Lachele Sells, 20 year-old daughter of Butch and Teresa Sells, 2nd Runner-Up Brittany Nicole Victoria McCoin, 18 year-old daughter of Danny and Rhonda McCoin, Miss Best Dressed Jessica Paige Coleman, 18 year-old daughter of Terry and Julie Coleman, Miss Congeniality Mary Heather Maynard, 18 year-old daughter of Mike Maynard and Donna Maynard, congratulated by 2006 Fairest of the Fair Nikita Reshaé Beaty, and, back row, Tim McGill, CEO of pageant sponsor Livingston Regional Hospital, Tonya Hill, representing scholarship sponsor Bank of Overton County, Fair Board President David Robbins, and David Parsons, representing scholarship sponsor Speck Funeral Home.

 

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Overton County News
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01-03-2007
01-10-2007
01-17-2007
01-24-2007
01-31-2007
02-07-2007
02-14-2007
02-21-2007
02-28-2007
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06-06-2007
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06-27-2007
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07-25-2007



Sports
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01-10-2007
01-17-2007
01-24-2007
01-31-2007
02-07-2007
02-14-2007
02-21-2007
02-28-2007
03-07-2007
03-14-2007
03-21-2007
03-28-2007
04-04-2007
04-11-2007
04-18-2007
04-25-2007
05-02-2007
05-09-2007
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