LaTanya Thomas, individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of Tyler Thomas. DECEASED,
Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Colleges and Joshua Keadle, appellees. AND KEVIN SeMANS, APPELLANTS,
Summary Judgment: Appeal and Error. An appellate court will
affirm a lower court's grant of summary judgment if the
pleadings and admitted evidence show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material facts or as to the ultimate
inferences that may be drawn from those facts and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
___:___. In reviewing a summary judgment, an appellate court
views the evidence in the light most favorable to the party
against whom the judgment was granted and gives that party
the benefit of all reasonable inferences deducible from the
Summary Judgment. On a motion for summary judgment, the
question is not how the factual issue is to be decided but
whether any real issue of material fact exists.
Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings and evidence
admitted at the hearing disclose no genuine issue regarding
any material fact or the ultimate inferences that may be
drawn from those facts and that the moving party is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law.
Summary Judgment: Proof. A party moving for summary judgment
makes a prima facie case for summary judgment by producing
enough evidence to demonstrate that the movant is entitled to
judgment if the evidence were uncontroverted at trial.
Once the moving party makes a prima facie case, the burden
shifts to the party opposing a motion for summary judgment to
produce admissible contradictory evidence showing the
existence of a material issue of fact that prevents judgment
as a matter of law.
Claims Act: Proof. To recover in a negligence action brought
under the State Tort Claims Act, a plaintiff must show a
legal duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, a breach
of such duty, causation, and damages.
Negligence. The existence of a duty generally serves as a
legal conclusion that an actor must exercise such degree of
care as would be exercised by a reasonable person under the
Negligence: Public Policy. Whether a duty exists is a policy
Negligence. Whether a legal duty exists for actionable
negligence is a question of law.
___. In a negligence action, in order to determine whether
appropriate care was exercised, the fact finder must assess
the foreseeable risk at the time of the defendant's
___. Foreseeability is analyzed as a fact-specific inquiry.
___. Small changes in the facts may make a dramatic change in
how much risk is foreseeable.
___. The law does not require precision in foreseeing the
exact hazard or consequence which happens; it is sufficient
if what occurs is one of the kinds of consequences which
might reasonably be foreseen.
Negligence: Assault. In order to make a risk of attack
foreseeable, the existing circumstances to be considered must
have a direct relationship to the harm incurred.
Negligence: Judgments. Courts should leave determinations of
foreseeable risk to the trier of fact unless no reasonable
person could differ on the matter.
Although questions of foreseeable risk are ordinarily proper
for a trier of fact, courts may reserve the right to
determine that the defendant did not breach its duty, as a
matter of law, if reasonable people could not disagree about
the unforeseeability of the risk of the harm incurred.
from the District Court for Nemaha County: Daniel E. Bryan,
Jr., Judge. Affirmed.
Vincent M. Powers and Elizabeth A. Govaerts, of Vincent M.
Powers & Associates, for appellants.
F. Krause and Patrick B. Donahue, of Cassem, Tierney, Adams,
Gotch & Douglas, for appellee Board of Trustees ...