By Lawrence Smith-Kanawha Bureau|
CHARLESTON - A tentative settlement has been reached in a Gilmer County man's lawsuit against Glenville State College for injuries he sustained four years ago at a motel the College owns.
Aug. 20 was the scheduled day for trial to begin in Dale Norman's suit against GSC and the Glenville State College Housing Corporation, a non-profit arm of the College that aids in helping it acquire and construct property. However, the trial was cancelled after the parties announced to Judge Carrie Webster they reached a settlement.
Neither David Mincer, GSC's attorney, nor Debra Varner, GSCHC's attorney, returned repeated telephone calls inquiring about the terms of the settlement. Also, Norman's attorney, Doug Miley, declined to comment saying only it would be spilt evenly between GSC and GSCHC.
In his suit filed Oct. 4, 2010, Norman, 54, of Glenville, alleged he sustained third-degree burns on his feet two years earlier when he attempted to take a bath at the Conrad Motel. Located down the hill, and across Main Street from GSC, the 42-room two-story motel derives its name from his founder, Jack Conrad, who first started it as a restaurant in 1926, and expanded it into a motel three years later.
According to the College's Web site, GSCHC purchased the motel in July 2008 from Susie Kidd Shipe, Conrad's niece, to provide housing for law enforcement officers coming to Glenville for training conducted by the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. However, rooms would still be available to the public especially in June during the annual Folk Festival.
According to the Gilmer County Assessor's Office, GSCHC purchased the motel for $500,000.
Though they admitted his feet did get burned while staying at the motel, both GSC and GSCHC in their answers to Norman's suit denied any wrongdoing. In cross claims they filed against each other, both said should they be found liable for Norman's injuries, the other should be made to compensate for its share of the negligence.