Ex parte Jimmy Walker.Annotate this Case
Defendant Jimmy Walker petitioned for mandamus relief following the circuit court's denial of his motion for summary judgment. While plaintiff Jeremy Deason was was incarcerated, he participated in a Department of Corrections work-release program and was assigned to an inmate construction detail; Walker, who was employed as a "carpenter supervisor" with DOC's Correctional Industries Division, served as Deason's work-release supervisor. In 2010, Deason suffered an on-the-job injury when scaffolding he and Walker were dismantling collapsed. Before both Deason and Walker's ascent onto the scaffolding, Walker had performed a visual inspection of the scaffolding and the "mud plates," which prevent scaffolding from settling, in order to assess the stability of the scaffolding; according to Walker, the scaffolding appeared secure before Deason started ascending. As a result of his injuries, Deason sued, among other defendants, numerous DOC officials, including Walker, whom Deason sued only in his individual capacity. Specifically, as to Walker, Deason contended that Walker "started climbing the scaffold on the same side as [Deason] knowing that the scaffold was not set up properly for workers to climb the same side at the same time." The Supreme Court granted relief: "the record is devoid of any evidence indicating - and Deason does not establish - either that Walker violated any applicable DOC rule or regulation governing his conduct or that Walker was acting 'willfully, maliciously, fraudulently, [or] in bad faith' in the exercise of judgment in regard to the scaffolding when Deason was injured. Therefore, Walker has successfully demonstrated that he is entitled to State-agent immunity as to Deason's tort claims."