School District Settles Lawsuit Involving Injuries Caused by Bully

Monday, April 30, 2012

For years, school bullying was brushed under the carpet as typical and unavoidable student behavior.  Fortunately, Los Angeles personal injury lawyers have noticed a greater interest in the subject recently.  A controversial new documentary titled Bully is being recommended as essential viewing for children and their parents.  Coinciding with all this attention on the dangers of bullying in our schools, comes a settlement in New Jersey that will resolve a lawsuit based on catastrophic injuries caused by bullying.

A New Jersey school district has decided to pay $4.2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a student, who suffered paralyzing injuries when he was punched in the stomach by a bully.  The settlement was announced between the Ramsey School District and the family of the injured boy, Sawyer Rosenstein. 

Rosenstein was being bullied by another child at school, and had made school officials aware of the problem.  Then 12 years old, he had e-mailed school officials to report that he was being bullied.  The same boy had attacked another student on a bus just the previous year.  However, the school had not maintained any record of the attack, and the boy was not subjected to any disciplinary action.

On May 16, 2006, Sawyer was punched in the abdomen in school.  He returned home complaining of back pain.  That night, his parents found him screaming in his bedroom.  They rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late.  Doctors found that the punch had caused a clot in a major artery that blocked the flow of blood through his spine.  He remains unable to walk since. 

Unfortunately, as part of the settlement, the Ramsey Board Of Education denies any wrongdoing.  The district insists that its policies regarding bullying are effective, and not only meet but also exceed the criteria established by the state.  It’s too bad the bully here didn’t get that memo.


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