A lawsuit filed by a political candidate against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, several school employees, two volunteers, a Charlotte attorney as well as The Charlotte Observer has been thrown out of court.
Superior Court Judge Lisa Bell of Charlotte handed down her decisions last week, following a lengthy July 25 hearing in which Tigress McDaniel dismissed the judge as biased, said she was being denied “natural justice,” and belittled some of the defendants on hand, observers said.
McDaniel, representing herself, sued about a dozen parties in April on a variety of allegations. That complaint followed her January civil action that accused CMS and several of its staffers and volunteers of violating her son’s health and dietary needs. She later withdrew the January suit, then refiled it in April after adding the Observer and attorney Lane Williamson as defendants.
McDaniel accused the volunteers of giving McDaniel’s son M&M’s at an October party at Eastover. She argued that her son had suffered damages because the schools mishandled his food allergies and medical problems.
Even though Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools taps more than 37,000 volunteers a year, there’s no policy on the books to provide a legal defense when they’re sued, according to a March Observer story.
McDaniel accused the Observer of defaming her with its coverage. Williamson served as the attorney for one of the CMS volunteers and had written McDaniel a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter on behalf of his client.
In late May, Bell issued a “gatekeeper” order against McDaniel that bans her from filing additional lawsuits without prior approval. In that order, Bell said McDaniel had used the Mecklenburg courts “for the purposes of harassment.”
Bell’s order does not apply to the federal courts, or lawsuits that McDaniel had filed earlier in state court before the gatekeeper order went into effect, thus requiring the hearing on her April complaint.
McDaniel ran unsuccessfully for at-large Mecklenburg County commissioner in the May Democratic primary. She’s now a candidate for Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor.
McDaniel did not immediately respond to an email Monday seeking comment. She announced in court that she plans to appeal Bell’s decision.