Local News

Court upholds workers' comp award to wounded principal

Posted April 3, 2012

— The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a Robeson County principal wounded three years ago on his way to school should receive worker's compensation.

Former Fairmont Middle School Principal James Hunt was hit by a shotgun blast in April 2009 by someone in a pickup truck who pulled alongside his Jeep Cherokee. Despite a shattered mouth and nose, Hunt drove 15 miles to a hospital in Lumberton.

Hunt said later that he was convinced his shooting was school-related and possibly gang-related. Two days prior to the shooting Hunt said he held a “Stop the Violence” rally at his school.

Robeson County Schools officials maintained, however, that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay compensation because the shooting happened while Hunt was away from school property.

The state Industrial Commission, which handles worker's compensation cases, ruled in Hunt's favor in December 2010, but the school district appealed the case to the appellate court.

The judges said in their ruling that Hunt was talking on a school-owned cell phone to one of his employees about school issues when he was shot.

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  • michaelclay Apr 4, 2012

    davidk_at_unc, you are 100% correct!!

  • superman Apr 4, 2012

    This is a wild strech to be able to receive worksman compensation.

  • davidk_at_unc Apr 4, 2012

    "This is why I think all county and goverment employees should not be allowed cell phones at the expense of the tax payers. They certainly should not be allowed to use a cell phone while driving goverment vehicles. " -- Rebelyell55

    What??? He wasn't shot by his cell phone! Talking on his cell phone had nothing to do with this incident whatsoever, other than to establish that we was engaged in "school business" at the time.

  • Rebelyell55 Apr 4, 2012

    This is why I think all county and goverment employees should not be allowed cell phones at the expense of the tax payers. They certainly should not be allowed to use a cell phone while driving goverment vehicles. It's a liabiltiy that the tax payers can't afford.

  • Glass Half Full Apr 4, 2012

    So glad this gentleman will finally receive what he's due. He did so much to improve Robeson County Schools and when he was shot while doing his job they abandoned him. I can only imagine how heartbroken he was. It took way too long but I'm glad he'll finally receive the back pay he deserves. The school system should be made to pay his attorney fees.

  • bluebirdlover Apr 4, 2012

    "But then if he was in chapel Hill under their new ordinace he would be arrested for talking and driving"

    Sunshine 1040

    This happened in 2009 was the cell phone usage law in effect back then?

  • greg69innc Apr 4, 2012

    Robeson county needs to stand by all their educators and treat them respectfully. Pay this man his and make the perpertrators get a job and pay this man too. Stop the Violence by holding all hoodlums accountable for their actions and make the consequences hard enough to where folks will realize it is not worth it and you will see violence drastically reduced.

  • dollibug Apr 4, 2012

    This is an interesting case...as it seems to be a lot of companies denying employees worker's compensation claims...I was working for a company and had surgery on Dec 13, 2005 and was laid off on Dec 15, 2005...I had filed a worker's comp claim and because I did this I was also denied any short term and long term benefits that I had at the time of my surgery...and then the company also, along with a couple of crooked attorneys denied my worker's comp benefits...so I was left without coverage for several years...it is sad when no one bothered to check out all of the details of what was going on...as the NC Industrial Commission then approved the denial...where the company stated I had not followed procedure and reported my injury in a timely manner...which was nothing but false accusations...no one followed up on this and verified what the company was claiming...it seems like no one wants to do what is right...

  • djofraleigh Apr 3, 2012

    Not that it seems correct technically to me, but the man was shot due to his job and so I say he should get the workman's comp and am glad a way was found. Just driving to work, and being on the phone provided by the school talking about work wouldn't do it excpet that I think this was revenge by students.

  • peppercorns Apr 3, 2012

    Is a policeman covered if he is shot off duty by someone he arrested? yes. So shut up and give this poor man what he is entitled to. He is not asking for extra. Geez.

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