Jury Awards Girl Sexually Assaulted on School Bus $1.7 Million

A verdict recently found by Palm Beach County jury awarded $1.7 million to a mentally challenged girl who was sexually assaulted on a county school bus in 2007 when she was only three years old.

The Palm Beach County School Board never denied that the girl had been raped by an emotionally disturbed 15-year-old boy on the bus, and fired the bus driver and an aide who were responsible for the girl’s safety. The aide was later convicted of child neglect and placed on probation.

If you believe that the negligence of another party has led to the physical or psychological harm of a loved one, the Palm Beach County personal injury lawyers at Farah & Farah want you to know that you may have legal options to see that those responsible are held liable for their actions.

The family’s attorney contended that the attack inflicted permanent emotional damage on the child, who is now nine years old. The school board claimed that the girl was too mentally disabled and too young for the attack to have done any permanent psychological damage.

An attorney for the school board had suggested that the jury award only $250,000 for pain and suffering as a conciliatory gesture, but insisted the girl did not remember the attack. According to the Palm Beach Post, the family’s attorney found that defense “incredible” and “outrageous.”

Although the jury awarded the girl $1.7 million, the school board is protected by Florida’s sovereign immunity law, which, under 2007 guidelines, would cap the award at $100,000, unless the Florida Legislature decides to lift that cap – a long and complicated process.

It is a school administration’s responsibility to assure the safety of the students in their charge. If your child has been harmed, the legal team at Farah & Farah is always on call to offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Call us at (800) 533-3555 or contact us online for your confidential, no-obligation case review today.