Angela Suttner and the Howard County R-II School District have reached a settlement in Suttner’s wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the suicide of her 17-year-old son, Kenneth Suttner, in December 2016.
Boone County Circuit Judge Jeff Harris approved the settlement Monday and dismissed the lawsuit. The settlement terms remained undisclosed, and the attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant could not be reached for comment.
Angela Suttner filed the lawsuit in July 2018, claiming that despite knowledge of severe bullying by students and teachers, school authorities had failed to take action against perpetrators or acknowledge the bullying of Kenneth Suttner, according to previous Missourian reporting. The bullying included the use of “derogatory names” and “difficult, abusive, harassing and humiliating situations,” the lawsuit alleged.
In addition to the district, the petition had been filed against the superintendent, assistant superintendent, high school principal and former elementary school principal of Glasgow High School, where Suttner had been a junior. The defendants sought dismissal of the lawsuit in August 2018, but Harris denied that motion in February.
Just last month, Harley Branham, former manager of a Dairy Queen in Fayette, where Kenneth had worked, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. She was sentenced to two years of supervised probation and 30 days of house arrest. Branham had been accused of repeatedly harassing, bullying and humiliating Suttner and was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The Suttner family also reached a confidential settlement in March 2018 on another wrongful death lawsuit against Dairy Queen and “G.E. Inc.”