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Wallace v. Rosen

Court of Appeals of Indiana
765 N.E.2d 192 (2002)



Rosen (defendant) was a teacher at Northwest High School during an unannounced fire drill one week after a fire was extinguished near her classroom. Wallace (plaintiff), who was recovering from foot surgery, was at the school delivering homework to her daughter on the day of the fire drill. Wallace stopped near the top of a staircase to talk to her daughter and her daughter’s friends. At that moment the fire alarm sounded, Wallace took a couple of steps up to the second floor as students filed down the stairs. Rosen escorted her class to the stairway where she noticed three or four people, including Wallace, whom she did not know, blocking the stairs. Rosen approached the stairs and told everyone to continue moving. Wallace, whose back was to Rosen, never heard Rosen over the alarm noise. Rosen placed her fingertips on Wallace’s back to get her attention and told her to proceed quickly down the stairs during the fire drill. Wallace sued Rosen and the school system for damages. Wallace testified that Rosen had pushed her down the stairs. Rosen denied pushing Wallace and claimed that Wallace had walked down the stairs unassisted. The court refused to instruct the jury on battery. The jury found in favor of Rosen and the school system. Wallace appealed to the Court of Appeals of Indiana.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kirsch, J.)

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