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Civil case against ex-teacher settled in closed hearing

By Jessica Priest
July 11, 2014 at 2:11 a.m.
Updated July 12, 2014 at 2:12 a.m.


A civil lawsuit between a Victoria nurse and a teacher who was jailed on suspicion of running her over with a car was settled Friday behind closed doors.

Susan Dorsett sued former Victoria ISD teacher Amy Madigan personally and on behalf of her two minor children.

Dorsett claimed Madigan was negligent Feb. 8 when she sped up Dorsett's driveway, pinning her beneath the vehicle, which crushed Dorsett and eventually caused the loss of her left leg.

Dorsett's children were nearby and "very narrowly escap(ed) injuries themselves."

Witnessing what happened caused "severe physiological injuries," according to the original petition filed in May.

Madigan in court documents denied any wrongdoing.

District Judge Stephen Williams presided over a 10-minute final judgment hearing, signing a motion to dismiss the case after both sides came to an agreement.

He closed the hearing to the public because minor children were involved.

Closing the hearing also sealed the documents associated with it, including the settlement agreement, which would shed light on whether Madigan admitted negligence or whether any money exchanged hands.

Williams said there is a provision of the Texas Family Code that allows him to close hearings for motor vehicle lawsuits to the public if minors are involved.

"It protects the privacy of the minors," he said afterward. "They did not want the amounts of the settlement to be public record."

The hearing's closure also prevented Dorsett's attorney, Sandra McKenzie; Dorsett's children's attorney, Norman Jones; and Madigan's attorney, Greg Laughlin, of Sugar Land, from commenting afterward.

Dorsett was seeking $2 million, and her children were seeking $250,000, according to the original petition.

Madigan is also charged with aggravated assault in retaliation and tampering with a witness.

She has a motions hearing Dec. 4 before Judge Paul Canales, a visiting judge.

Madigan, 40, is also charged in a separate case with criminal mischief between $50 and $500. However, she does not have any upcoming court appearances for that case.

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