267 S.W.3d 595 (Ark. 2007), 07-611, Arkansas River Educational Services v. Modacure

Docket Nº:07-611.
Citation:267 S.W.3d 595, 371 Ark. 466
Opinion Judge:PAUL E. DANIELSON, Justice.
Party Name:ARKANSAS RIVER EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, Appellant, v. Larry MODACURE; Donna Hudson, Appellees.
Attorney:Friday, Eldredge & Clark, by: Khayyam M. Eddings, Little Rock, for appellant., Floyd A. Healy, Little Rock, for appellees.
Case Date:November 08, 2007
Court:Supreme Court of Arkansas
 
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Page 595

267 S.W.3d 595 (Ark. 2007)

371 Ark. 466

ARKANSAS RIVER EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, Appellant,

v.

Larry MODACURE; Donna Hudson, Appellees.

No. 07-611.

Supreme Court of Arkansas.

November 8, 2007

Page 596

Friday, Eldredge & Clark, by: Khayyam M. Eddings, Little Rock, for appellant.

Floyd A. Healy, Little Rock, for appellees.

PAUL E. DANIELSON, Justice.

[371 Ark. 467] Appellant Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative (“ ARESC" ) appeals from the circuit court's order denying its motion for summary judgment. ARESC's sole point on appeal is that the circuit court erred in denying its summary-judgment motion because it is entitled to immunity from liability and from suit for damages pursuant to Ark.Code Ann. § 21-9-301 (Repl.2004). We reverse and remand.

A review of the record reveals that during the 2004-05 school year, Appellee Larry Modacure was a student in the Watson Chapel School District. Modacure was also enrolled in a vocational training program at ARESC in Pine Bluff, where he was injured on November 29, 2004, when struck in the face by a foreign object that ejected from a lathe machine that Modacure was using. On December 5, 2005, Modacure, by and through his mother, Appellee Donna Hudson, and Donna Hudson, individually, [371 Ark. 468] filed a lawsuit against ARESC, which sought damages as a direct and proximate result of ARESC's alleged negligence in adult supervision and prevention of such injury. ARESC answered and pled affirmatively that it was immune from suits for negligence under Ark.Code Ann. § 21-9-301 and because it did not maintain liability insurance for the claim asserted. The circuit court denied ARESC's motion for summary judgment and found that ARESC, as an educational service cooperative, was not included in the list of entities under section 21-9-301 that enjoy immunity. ARESC timely filed a notice of appeal.

ARESC argues on appeal that the circuit court erred when it ruled that Ark.Code Ann. § 21-9-301 does not provide immunity to education service cooperatives, as that ruling does not properly consider the entire text of the statute. ARESC contends that the circuit court's ruling should be reversed because an education service cooperative is a creation of the State Board of Education which operates as a public body corporate and, in effect and purpose, is a collective of school districts which individually enjoy...

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