November 7, 2019
Wilshire Law Firm Secures Landmark $28.5 Million Result Against School District
Wilshire Law Firm's senior trial attorney Jon C. Teller, Esq., in conjunction with Rahul Ravipudi, Esq. of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, obtained a judgment at trial of 100% negligence against the School District. The case then settled just before picking a jury for the damages phase of trial. The result not only recovers millions in damages for the student but also sets forth groundbreaking policy changes that the School District has agreed to implement to protect IEP/Section 504 students.
"No parent should suffer something like this ever, ever again," argued Jon Teller, Wilshire Law Firm's senior trial attorney. "We hope that this result leads to substantial changes that protect all students throughout the Country who follow an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)."
Although a substantial amount of money was offered, the attorneys for the child would not agree to resolve the case until the School District agreed to implement new policies and procedures to ensure something like this never happens again. IEPs for children who require curb-to-curb bus transportation in the School District now require not only regular evaluation, but rigid enforcement. The settlement requires training for School District faculty members, along with creating more transparent rights and letters to parents for parents of students who require special education assistance, administrative assistance, or other support.
"The ultimate mission of our work is substantial societal change that makes the world a better place, and that's what we accomplished in this case," noted Bobby Saadian, Esq., Wilshire Law Firm's Founding President and Managing Attorney. "We emphasized the need for changes to the School District's evaluation and enforcement policies throughout the case, and because of that insistence, the parents and families of future students are going to benefit."
In addition to the monetary conditions (totaling $28,500,000), the School District has additionally agreed to have a third party "conduct an evaluation of the District's IEP/Section 504 policies and procedure and prepare a report to the District concerning its evaluation and recommendations for training of the District's employees."
The victim, an eleven-year-old minor, was struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Village Drive and Puesta Del Sol Drive while walking home alone after school in February of 2017. Previously, the School District had determined that our client required "curb-to-curb bus transportation" to ensure his physical safety.
"Schools often overlook the needs of children in special education and Fabian's story is the tragic result of that pattern and practice," commented Panish Shea & Boyle LLP partner Rahul Ravipudi.
As a result, our client suffered catastrophic injuries, including a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that will require 24/7 lifetime care. Despite the serious nature of the injuries, the School District refused to make any settlement offers before heading to trial.
"Despite the School District offering our client $0 and rigorously fighting liability throughout the last 2 years," remarked Teller, "the entire team at Wilshire Law Firm welcomed the opportunity to protect our client and protect students nationwide, and that is why we took on this fight and succeeded."
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