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Murray v. Indianapolis Public Schools

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 18, 2018

Katrina Murray and Aquila F. Flynn, as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Jaylan T. R. Murray, Deceased, Appellants-Plaintiffs,
v.
Indianapolis Public Schools and Arlington Community High School, Appellees-Defendants.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable James A. Joven, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49D13-1703-CT-11107

          Attorneys for Appellants Karl L. Mulvaney Nana Quay-Smith Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana R. T. Green Kellie C. Clark Blackburn & Green Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellees Caren L. Pollack Zachary J. Stock Indianapolis, Indiana

          RILEY, JUDGE.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellants-Plaintiffs, Katrina Murray and Aquila F. Flynn, as Co-personal Representatives of the Estate of Jaylan T.R. Murray (collectively, Appellants), appeal the trial court's summary judgment in favor of Appellees-Defendants, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and Arlington Community High School (Arlington) (collectively, School) on Appellants' Complaint for wrongful death.

         [¶2] We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

         ISSUES

         [¶3] Appellants present us with one issue on appeal, which we restate as the following three issues:

(1) Whether Appellants waived their argument on appeal by failing to respond to the School's motion for summary judgment;
(2) Whether a genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to the School's duty to supervise its students and monitor the School's exits; and
(3) Whether a genuine issue of material fact exists which precludes the entry of summary judgment based on contributory negligence.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] Jaylan Murray (Jaylan) was a 16-year-old student at Arlington. Jaylan's parents were divorced and he lived with his father, Marcus Murray (Marcus). At home, Jaylan was openly defiant to Marcus and would frequently run away. As a result, he had an open case file with the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). However, even though Jaylan would run away from home, he would usually still go to school. During Jaylan's absences, Marcus knew that Jaylan would either be with a friend or with the girl across the street. Marcus would report Jaylan missing to the police, and DCS would pick Jaylan up and call Marcus to retrieve his son. "Usually, the police report kicks out to the school, and they would know that he's a runaway." (Appellants' App. Vol. II, p. 43). In addition, Marcus had informed Stan Law, Arlington's principal, about Jaylan's issues.

         [¶5] On January 25, 2016, Jaylan ran away from home. Although Marcus knew where Jaylan was, on January 29, 2016, Marcus reported Jaylan's absence to the police. Jaylan was murdered on the afternoon of February 3, 2016, and his body was discovered around 4:02 p.m. at the apartment complex across the street from Arlington. Little is known about the circumstances surrounding Jaylan's murder. ...


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