CONTINUING COVERAGE OF RECORD-BREAKING $28 MILLION VERDICT FOR PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

Jury awards $28M to former Mount Vernon special needs student in rape suit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merson Law Wins Largest Sexual Assault Verdict in NY State History

Girl, 14, Raped On Her Way Home From School Then Assaulted In MVHS Locker Room Days Later

BREAKING: $28,000,000 Verdict

BREAKING: $28,000,000 Verdict

News Release


Friday, November 30, 2018

For further information contact Jordan Merson at jmerson@mersonlaw.com or (212) 390-1712 or Andrew S. Buzin at (646) 470-4878 or by email abuzin@buzinlaw.com.

Former Student Gets $28 Million Jury Award Against Mount Vernon School District For Sexual and Physical Assault

NEW YORK – A Westchester Jury has awarded $28 million dollars to a former student that was raped after being led off Mount Vernon High School campus when she was supposed to be in class and on the special education bus. The verdict is believed to be the largest physical and sexual assault jury verdict in New York State history.

The case involved a 14-year-old girl who was in the special education program at Mount Vernon High School when the sexual assault occurred. The lawsuit brought on her behalf in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Westchester County, charged that the Mount Vernon High School failed to properly supervise her.

The jury award is one of the largest ever in the County and the trial lasted approximately one month. The lawyers for the girl were Jordan Merson of Merson Law, PLLC, and Andrew Buzin of Buzin Law, P.C. The claim is believed to be fully insured and the insurance carrier refused to make a reasonable settlement offer in advance of a verdict.

Mr. Buzin said, “after almost seven years of being mistreated by the School District, it took a jury to deliver justice and hold them accountable.”

Mr. Merson added that, “This is a wonderful family that deserves every penny that the jury awarded. This young girl has endured unimaginable horror due to the negligence of the school district.”

Biographical Information:

Jordan Merson is a nationally recognized personal injury and sexual assault attorney, handling some of the largest cases in New York and the Country. He is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.

Andrew S. Buzin is licensed to practice in New York and Florida, and focuses on general negligence cases as well as those involving medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Link

FAN SAFETY BACK IN THE NEWS

This past week a little girl attended a baseball game with her grandfather at Yankee Stadium and was struck by a 105-mph foul ball.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/frazier-touch-family-girl-hit-105-mph-foul-ball-article-1.3514244

Typically cases involving these types of injuries are not viable because fans “assume the risk” of this outcome when they purchase a ticket, and incidents such as these are written off as “accidents.”

But numerous articles this week questioned whether these injuries were preventable with an inexpensive fix: extended netting.

https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/09/21/mlb-commissioner-rob-manfred-increase-netting-child-hit-ball

https://www.sbnation.com/a/mlb-preview-2016/nets

One article even brought up a past incident that occurred that resulted in the death of a baseball spectator:

http://nypost.com/2017/09/20/this-mlb-fan-danger-problem-shouldve-been-fixed-47-years-ago/

Science has told us that even the most attentive fans don’t stand much of a chance when a line drive is ripped into the stands.

Given that only the teams can prevent injuries of this type, isn’t it time that they are held accountable if they choose not to simply extend the protective netting? All the ingredients for a viable claim are present: (1) duty to protect fans; (2) foreseeability of injuries of this type; (3) breach of the duty to protect fans; (3) their breach caused harm.

If teams choose to not extend their netting, then they should be able to be held responsible for their malfeasance.

Today, the New York Post and Andrea Peyser Got it Right

This week we posted a response to an opinion piece in the New York Post that we deemed to be factually deficient, mean spirited, and ill-advised.

Imagine our surprise this morning upon finding Andrea Peyser’s column — from the same New York Post — which we cannot praise enough. Kudos to Ms. Peyser, who shed light on the predictable bullying that occurred, and for speaking to those whose opinions added value to the piece. She spoke to:

  • The girl about which the column was written;
  • Her father;
  • A parent who knew the family; and
  • A psychiatrist who is an expert in bullying

Her column may be found here:

http://nypost.com/2017/02/10/girl-trying-to-play-basketball-on-boys-team-not-giving-into-bullies/

We really can’t say it much better than Ms. Peyser did, and we hope that Ms. Peyser’s colleague who wrote the opinion piece last Sunday learns something from her.

 

Shame on the Bullying New York Post Opinion Piece

The following is a response to an Op-Ed piece in Sunday’s New York Post by Naomi Schaefer Riley, found here: http://nypost.com/2017/02/04/parents-of-basketball-girl-who-sued-school-are-teaching-her-narcissism-not-justice/

Dear Ms. Riley:

I’m glad the opening line to your opinion piece in Sunday’s New York Post acknowledged that actions have consequences.

And I’m sure you considered the consequences of writing your opinion piece about a 12-year old girl who wants to play basketball, and her family.

And I’m sure you considered that your opinion piece was pointedly critical of that family, even though the school’s choice to exclude the girl was upheld in court simply because private schools are allowed to discriminate.

And I’m sure you carefully chose the words you used in the article, namely, “…the family cost the school..,” even though it was the school’s choice to prevent the girl from trying out for a team based strictly on her gender.

And I’m sure you reviewed the diocese financials before you painted it as financially strapped, even though it does not pay a dime in taxes.

And I’m sure you know that some of New Jersey’s Catholic schools, such as Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic, and Paterson Catholic, are renowned for their sports programs, before you chose to write that public schools were a better option for students whose priority is sports.

And before painting the family as affluent, I’m sure you did your due diligence to find out what their financial situation is, rather than just taking the average household income of the town in which they live.

And I’m sure you spoke to the parents of that little girl who just wants to play basketball and asked them if they wanted “special considerations,” or just a chance for their daughter to try out for the team.

And you certainly chose your words carefully when you implied that the same family was “going to take everyone down” with them by accessing the courts. You know, like the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education did.

And you surely took into account, when suggesting that the little girl go to a different school, just how difficult a transfer for her would be academically and socially, and would even suggest the same to your own child if she were faced with this adversity.

And you also certainly considered that the lesson you would be teaching to your own child would be that it’s okay for an institution to discriminate. It’s okay for an institution to deprive her of her due process rights. And it’s okay both for her and for other girls to not have the opportunity to get a position – even if she’s good enough – because she’s a girl.

And you also considered the consequences of your actions when the headline of your opinion piece accused the girl’s parents of teaching her narcissism. You considered that she and her family would read this sanctimonious and patronizing writing about them and how that would make them feel. You considered that their friends and family would read it, too, and you want them to accept what you wrote as the “correct” opinion. You considered that the girl’s classmates would adopt your position and may even attack that girl for fighting for what she believes in.

And then, worst of all, you certainly saw the irony when two days later you had the audacity to write about the crisis of cyberbullying. You even said of schools that they are “a place where students are supposed to feel safe physically and emotionally…” You failed to recognize that on Sunday, YOU were the bully.

Perhaps the consequences of YOUR actions should be an apology to this girl and her family.