Judge delays ruling to dismiss UAH wrongful death suit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Judge delays ruling to dismiss UAH wrongful death suit

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Madison County judge delayed ruling on a motion to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit against a former UAH official, Dr. Vistasp Karbhai.

Karbhari was provost for the university in 2010 when Amy Bishop Anderson shot and killed three co-workers and injured three others during a faculty meeting. Two of the victims' families filed the civil suit naming Bishop Anderson, her husband, the former university president, and Karbhari.

Judge Ruth Ann Hall did throw out the affidavit Bishop gave her attorneys that stated UAH employees fled the administration building before her arrival. However, it also referenced her apparent hallucinations.

The judge ruled Bishop's affidavit "totally defective" and said it will not be admissible in the lawsuit. 

According to the lawsuit, the victim's families said Karbhari should have been aware before the shootings that Bishop was unstable.

Karbhari said he's entitled to immunity under Alabama law as a state employee at the time of the shooting and that he had no duty to protect the people Bishop shot.

The plaintiff's lawyers argue they were unable to depose everyone they needed to bolster their case. They also want to depose Amy Bishop in prison.

The plaintiff's also discussed what they say are 15 "frenzied" phone calls made by Bishop to UAH officials and staff. They asked for more time to collect records connecting Karbhari to those calls. 

The judge delayed the motion in order for the plaintiffs to do more discovery. Attorneys on both sides met behind closed doors to discuss a timeline going forward in the lawsuit.

The next hearing on the motion for summary judgment by Karbhari will be on Dec. 12. If the case goes to trial, the trial would begin on April 7, the judge said. 

Judge Hall also warned both sides that the court will not tolerate "personal" arguments. She said, "We are going to deal with facts and the law."

A UAH spokesperson said earlier this year that there is no legal basis for claiming the former provost was in any way responsible for the deaths.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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