12-Year-Old Died After Being Found Unconscious On Gloucester Township School Bus
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY (January 5, 2022) – A 12-year-old boy has tragically died after he was found unresponsive on a school bus.
Gloucester Township police officials are saying that the incident took place on January 24. School officials found the child unresponsive on a school bus.
Paramedics were called in order to help the child. He was taken to Jefferson Hospital in Washington Township before he was transported to the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.
Despite life-saving measures, he died at the hospital. Officials have not commented on a possible cause of death. This tragedy comes just four years after a 19-year-old autistic student died after being left on a school bus in 96 degree weather in California.
Liability In New Jersey School Bus Incidents
Neglect is a major cause of childhood injury and death in the United States. According to one study from the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, “Annual estimate: 1,840 children died from abuse and neglect in 2019. Five children die every day from child abuse. Seventy (70.3%) percent of all child fatalities were younger than 3 years old.” Young children and those with learning disabilities tend to be at the greatest risk. There are a number of signs that a child is potentially being neglected at school.
- The child may display obsessive behavior
- The child may become aggressive
- The child may show signs of self-harm
- The child may become withdrawn, depressed or anxious
All schools have a legal responsibility to properly monitor the children in their care. A school could be liable for the foreseeable injuries caused by a lack of adequate supervision. This could include instances where children fight and injure one another while unsupervised. This could also include instances where a child is injured after becoming lost on school property.
Consider, for example, the New Jersey Supreme Court case Jenkins v. Anderson. In Jenkins, a 9-year-old was dismissed from school early. The child was in a “walking district” that had no bus service. The child would usually walk home with their parents. But the parents were unaware that their child was dismissed early. About 2 hours after being dismissed, the child was paralyzed by a car accident. The New Jersey Supreme Court ultimately sided with the child’s family and held that schools have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the supervision of students at dismissal. There are a number of steps that should be taken if a child is injured at school.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Work records should be examined.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.
The family of any child that died at school may have legal recourse through a civil claim. Damages can help cover the unexpected costs associated with the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one. Sadly, though, school districts are known to fight hard to deny liability for any instance where a child is harmed under their care. A New Jersey wrongful death attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A New Jersey School Bus Incident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of the child that died in this incident. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of the victim’s family. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. No family should ever have to suffer through a tragedy like this.
Do you need an investigation into a Gloucester Township school incident? Our team of child safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that victims are aware of their rights and that school districts are held accountable for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an incident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.