Last week, the City of Baltimore Board of Estimates voted unanimously to pay $100,000 as part of a settlement in a negligence lawsuit relating to the death of a young special needs boy who died after jumping from a school bus.
The $100,000 settlement relates only to the allegations made against the city school system, who hired the bus company to transport the boy to and from school. The family has a separate claim against the bus company, an independent company.
The lawsuit alleges that school officials knew the boy struggled with "impulse control," and that he had a history of attempted exiting from the bus, yet proper procedures were not followed, and he was not restrained on the day of the fatal accident. He died just two days after the accident, as a result of the head injuries he sustained.
According to the suit, there were multiple prior incidents demonstrating the boy's behavior on the bus. These included the boy standing at the rear of the bus during the entire duration of the ride and, on a separate occasion, an attempted jump out the back door.
The lawsuit alleges that, on the day of the accident, the boy first attempted to open the front door of the bus, but the bus driver motioned at him with his hat, and continued to drive. The boy then allegedly walked past several aides, none of whom made any attempt to stop him, and then opened an emergency exit at the back of the bus, and jumped from four feet in the air into oncoming traffic. The bus driver continued driving, at a speed of 30 mph.