Most would agree that school districts have some moral obligation to prevent bullying, but there is an open question of whether a district is legally responsible for failing to act when they knew about a threat.
A New York school district recently settled a lawsuit for $4.2 million after a middle school student was paralyzed by a bully’s punch.
In 2006, Sawyer Rosenstein, then 12, was punched in the stomach. Two days later, he found himself unable to walk due to a blood clot. Rosenstein has been paralyzed from the waist down ever since.
In a lawsuit, Rosenstein’s New York personal injury lawyer alleged that the school knew about the bully’s violent tendencies and failed to prevent the attack.
The bully had previously punched another student in the face, but the school kept no record of that attack. Rosenstein’s lawsuit also alleged that the school did not comply with a state anti-bullying law.
Three months before the attack, Rosenstein had e-mailed school officials to report the bullying, saying “I would just like to put this on file so if something happens again, we can show that there was past bullying situations.”
The school district still denies any wrongdoing and says that it was the school’s insurance carriers who decided to settle with the Rosensteins and their New York personal injury lawyer. The district said that their “character education and harassment/intimidation/bullying initiatives and reporting practices” exceeded state criteria.
Rosenstein’s family had previously settled a claim against the attacker for an undisclosed amount.
Rosenstein is now a communication major at Syracuse University and hosts a podcast about outer space.
Gersowitz, Libo & Korek is one of the leading personal injury law firms in New York. If you have been injured, you need a passionate New York personal injury lawyer to aggressively pursue your case and offer the best representation possible. For a free evaluation, call (201) 541-8540.