Lawyers ask for dismissal

Shawntaye Hopkins

Arguments are still being tossed around as to whether Western or the Student Life Foundation have government immunity against a lawsuit filed by the estate of Katie Autry.

Warren Circuit Judge Tom Lewis heard lawyers for Western and SLF argue yesterday that the lawsuit filed against them by the Autry estate in September should be dismissed.

Lewis made no decision during the hearing and set no further hearing dates.

Western filed a motion to dismiss on Oct. 3, claiming to have government immunity. SLF followed with a motion to dismiss on Oct. 13, making the same claim.

Ben Crocker, the attorney representing the Autry estate, said dorm operation is a business function.

Crocker said the motion shouldn’t be dismissed until he receives additional discovery to determine the functions and management of SLF.

Charles English Jr., the attorney representing SLF, said the foundation holds the title to the dorm property.

Crocker said both Western and SLF have responsibilities to students in the dorms, even if SLF only owns the property.

Operating dorms, no matter who does it, is a business function, Crocker said.

Greg Stivers, the attorney representing Western and the five employees named in the suit, said higher education is a government function, and it is mandated by Kentucky legislatures to provide housing.

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