Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PBA, Knox County want circuit court to toss clerk's 'mold' lawsuit

Clerk Foster Arnett Jr
The Public Building Authority and Knox County have asked a judge to toss a lawsuit filed by Knox County Clerk Foster Arnett Jr. in which he alleges that "toxic mold spores" in the downtown Old Courthouse where he works have caused his health to deteriorate.

In part, Morris Kizer, who is representing the county and PBA, said Arnett not only lacks the authority to sue the county in his "official capacity" as the clerk, but that "Knox County cannot sue Knox County," according to records filed late Monday in Knox County Circuit Court.

Kizer noted that state law does not grant Arnett – if he's acting in his capacity as clerk – the "right, power or authority to retain counsel to file such a suit."

Response: Motion to Dismiss

Earlier this year, Arnett hired his own attorney, Darren Berg, to represent him in his lawsuit.

Kizer, in court documents, also noted that state law considers public building authorities, such as the one in Knox County, to be "governmental entities."

That means, according to case law, the county is essentially suing itself – something it cannot legally do, Kizer stated.

"The plaintiff has no implied power, in his official capacity as Knox County Clerk, to bring an action against an agency of Knox County. Accordingly, the action must be dismissed," Kizer wrote.

Rest of story RIGHT HERE.

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