Utah court declines to dismiss suit involving student killed by theater prop gun

June 1, 2012
Judges rule that Washington County district can't claim immunity from negligence allegations

From The Salt Lake Tribune: The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that a negligence lawsuit involving a student killed while handling a "prop" pistol for a school play should move forward in federal court. The justices ruled that the Washington County School District couldn't dodge the lawsuit by claiming protection under a state law that provides immunity to government agencies. Ron and Cathie Thayer have contended that a safety plan for the revolver to be used in the Deseret Hills High School production of "Oklahoma!" was repeatedly violated in the weeks before their son, Tucker, 15, died on Nov. 15, 2008.

Read the full court opinion (22 pages, PDF)

EARLIER.... From November 2008: A St. George, Utah, high school student has died after a prop pistol for the play "Oklahoma!" discharged in his hand. Tucker Thayer was wounded in the head when the blank-firing gun went off. The 15-year-old student was a stagehand for the play at Desert Hills High School in the Washington County school district. Tucker was one of a few people preparing props in a sound booth before a planned performance of the play. To read The Salt Lake Tribune article, click here.

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