The Baltimore school system in Maryland is dropping its appeal against the personal injury lawsuit filed by the mother of a 12-year-old girl that alleges that seven boys in a special education math class sexually assaulted her daughter in 2002.
Bridget Banks, the girl’s mother, says that on November 27, 2002, she received a voice message telling her that her daughter, who had previously been diagnosed with mild mental retardation, had been suspended from school.
The woman found her daughter at home. She says her daughter could not speak, her hair was a mess, and her shirt was ripped. She made her daughter tell her what happened. She then called the Baltimore police.
The girl, now 17 years of age, has been treated at mental facilities 21 times since the attack occurred. She also was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, had violent nightmares, and became suicidal. She now lives in a special home for vulnerable adults.
As part of their appeal, the schools had alleged that the girl had provoked the assault, which took place in the special education classroom at Southeast Middle School. The teacher reportedly was in the room but did not stop the attack. She was the only girl in a class with nine boys.
The lawsuit says that a number of boys started fondling her breasts. She called out to the teacher but was ignored. Seven of the boys pinned her to the ground and tried to pull her underwear off. She managed to push them away. At the principal’s office, a number of the boys contradicted her story and claimed she had “asked for it.” The girl was suspended.
By law, schools in Maryland must report any allegations of sexual assault. Southeast Middle School did not file a report with police.
The jury awarded Banks and her daughter $135,000 for medical expenses, pain, and suffering. The school system will pay the girl and her mother $100,000, which is the maximum allowed under state law for this type of personal injury case. Until this year, the school had covered all the costs of long-term mental facility placements.
Schools are supposed to ensure that children on their premises are safe from harm, including physical assault, robbery, injury, sexual assault, and wrongful death. If you or child was injured at a school, a good personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a premises liability claim or another kind of personal claim or lawsuit.
Related Web Resource:
Are Schools More Afraid of Lawsuits than They Should Be?, Christian Science Monitor, May 27, 2003
In Maryland and Washington D.C., the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen has successfully handled many injury cases involving minors. You and your child are entitled to compensation for any pain and suffering caused by the negligence of others.
Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today and receive a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.