Family of 12-Year-Old Detroit Student Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit After Bus Driver Attack
Detriot Public Schools and a third party hired to contract bus drivers for the school system are facing a $3.5 million lawsuit after an attack on a twelve-year-old student.
The lawsuit was filed by the child’s mother, Krissey Coakley, in Wayne County Circuit Court last week, and the family is represented by Attorney Lillian Diallo.
The lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred on October 25th on a school bus contracted to work with Detroit’s Carver STEM Academy. The incident was caught on the school bus surveillance camera. The lawsuit details the event that unfolded which resulted in the minor’s injuries, including a concussion and shots for bite marks that the student sustained.
According to the minor’s family, the child who is identified as “AB” in the lawsuit got into a verbal argument with the substitute bus driver. According to the lawsuit, the substitute driver “was late and appeared to be angry and irritable when the students arrived and entered the bus.” After getting on the bus, AB and the driver allegedly “had words” and the driver appeared to be upset at both AB and the other students.
After taking her seat, AB saw her brother outside of the school bus and began to communicate with him through the window. This triggered the bus driver to stand up and approach AB, telling her “Sit your (expletive) down.”
AB responded with “Who are you talking to,” to which the driver began to physically strike AB in the face. AB began to defend herself and “When AB did not back down, the driver took the extraordinary step of biting her in the face and bending back her finger in an effort to cause serious harm and injury,” the lawsuit explains.
During the attack, a bus aide idly stood by and did not step in to protect the student or break up the fight. As a result of the attack, the family attorney shares that AB “suffered permanent scarring to her face and extreme emotional distress as a result of the attack, requiring ongoing treatment.” The family also details that their daughter has been forced to seek out “psychological treatment for the trauma and emotional damage caused by defendants.”
The bus driver, who is identified as “Defendant Jane Doe Bus Driver” in the lawsuit, is a contract hire by the school bus staffing service Trinity Transportation. The family and their lawyers accuse the transportation company of not doing its part in protecting the students on the bus.
“Trinity defendants have a duty to both physically carry passengers like AB and her fellow students on the bus and with assuring that each child is delivered safely to a predetermined stop,” shared the family’s attorney. The legal team goes on the say, “Defendants breached their duty of care by ending the transportation prior to completion and causing injury to plaintiff’s minor child.” While Trinity has not shared a comment regarding the incident, they have terminated the bus driver.
The multi-million dollar lawsuit accuses Trinity Transportation of negligence for engaging in assault and battery against the minor and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The family is going after the school system as well because they claim that although they contract out bus driving services to a third party, the school system should still be held liable for the driver’s actions.