VA Wrongful Death Suit Pending Against School
By John Cooper, Virgini Wrongful Death Lawyer
According to the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, Alise Williams is seeking $10 million in damages from school officials in York County, Virginia (VA) for the death of her son. The 16 year-old boy hanged himself at home on May 31st, 2010—he was a freshman at Grafton High School at the time. Williams claims that the former principal, two assistant principals, and one counselor knew that her son was being bullied for six months and did nothing to protect him. The student had transferred to Grafton High School from Texas in December of 2009.
Williams’ lawyer states that the defendants had a duty to report instances of abuse such as bullying and protect students. Since reporting bullying is mandatory, not discretionary, the plaintiff alleges that negligence allowed the bullying to continue, ending in the death of her son.
Our hearts go out to the mother of this boy who felt so abused at school that he took his own life. Bullying has become a more prevalent topic in recent years, with instances being reported more frequently. Bullying behavior comes in many different forms, and can be physical or verbal. Regardless of the type of abuse suffered, certain kinds of professionals, such as teachers, counselors, and social workers, are mandated to report it when it occurs.
Because that did not occur here, there is a potential case of negligence against the school officials. However, cases against school employees and other government workers are often met with claims of immunity by the insurance defense attorneys, and in many cases you must prove more than ordinary negligence. The higher standard of gross negligence is often impossible to show and cases against cities or school officials are often thrown out for this reason. If you lost a child due to the careless or reckless actions of another party, please contact our law firm to discuss your options in a free consultation.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and we have experience handling wrongful death claims. Check out our case results to see for yourself. We have offices based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach-Chesapeake-Suffolk Injuryboard, Norfolk-Portsmouth-Hampton Injuryboard, and Greenville-Outer Banks-Rocky Mount Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. If you are thinking about taking legal action against the at-fault person or company who caused the death of your loved one, call our office at 1-800-752-0042 for a free, confidential consultation. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, be sure to leave a voicemail and we will promptly return your call.