The family of Isaiah Simmons III has reached a $1.2 million Maryland wrongful death settlement with Bowling Brook Preparatory School and the state’s Department of Juvenile Services. The Maryland teen died in 2007 after he was restrained at the reform school.
Simmons’ family had accused counselors of holding him face down and sitting on him for about three hours. Simmons, a Baltimore 17-year-old, eventually lost consciousness and stopped breathing. The counselors are accused of waiting 41 minutes after Simmons became unresponsive to contact 911. Simmons was pronounced dead at Carroll Hospital Center. Following the tragic incident, Bowling Brook maintained that its staff followed appropriate procedures and denied that workers knelt or sat on Simmons’ head or torso.
Per the school’s report, on January 23, 2007, a staff member questioned Simmons about threats he allegedly made. The teenager allegedly made more threats and at around 4:45 pm, staff members and students restrained him. An ambulance was called at about 8:15 pm.
A school staff member told a 911 dispatcher that the restraint methods the counselors used on Simmons were not unusual. The employee said that the school had dealt with other aggressive kids in similar fashion.
Student eyewitnesses claim that five staffers were sitting on Simmons. One student says Simmons told them he couldn’t breathe and that he was in pain but the counselors didn’t believe him.
The reform school was eventually shut down. It reopened last year under new management. The school is now called Silver Oak Academy.
The $1.2 million Baltimore wrongful death settlement is the maximum allowed under Maryland personal injury law.
CPR, 911 call for youth were delayed, ISACCORP.org, January 31, 2007
Family of teen who died settles with Bowling Brook, state, Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo