Confidential Civil Rights Recovery by Parents for Death of Their Disabled Child

While being bussed to her special education school, a disabled five-year-old girl was strangled by a safety harness that the staff had put on her backwards. We advised the family that, in state court, the recovery for the death of a child was limited and some of the defendants were immune from being sued. So, we filed a civil rights action in federal court in addition to the state court proceeding. The federal court recognized the parents’ constitutional right to seek damages for the loss of the companionship of their child, which would not have been allowed in state court. The Raynes & Lawn team secured a precedent setting settlement. This case received national attention in the student transportation industry, prompting greater concerns for student safety.