Local News

Court upholds workers' comp award to wounded principal

Posted April 3, 2012 3:00 p.m. EDT

— 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.