By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Two alleged victims of former Smithville coach Dwight Bowling asked a federal judge to order lawsuit settlement talks.
The men, now adults, claim Bowling molested them when they were Smithville students. They also claim that Monroe County School District for which Bowling worked failed to act on complaints about Bowling and is responsible for damages inflicted upon them.
Tuesday, their attorney, Donald Medley of Hattiesburg, filed a motion to compel mediation in the lawsuits filed in 2011.
The day before, Bowling’s attorney, Goodloe Lewis of Oxford, asked the court to throw out the lawsuit against his client, claiming the statute of limitations has run out.
MDSD denies the allegations and states it is not responsible for Bowling.
The 57-year-old former coach is serving lengthy prison time in a Virginia federal facility for his guilty plea to charges he transported minor males across state lines for sex and that he attempted to tamper with a witness.
He also faces a long state prison sentence on sex-with-minors charges and witness tampering when he completes his federal time.
Medley’s motion tells Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr. that it’s reasonable to expect that the cases “may be resolved by the use of the alternative dispute resolution of mediation.”
He urges that approach to avoid the additional time and expense of a trial, one set for July and the second in 2014.
Recently, Biggers dismissed three former Smithville school officials as lawsuit defendants because the three-year deadline to file passed before they were added.