Teen sues bus driver over beating Claims man didn’t do anything to stop 90-minute attack in 2006

By ESTEBAN PARRA, The News Journal
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A teenage boy who said he endured a nearly 90-minute beating by three other teens during a school bus ride last year, is suing the driver for allegedly allowing the assault to go on.

The teen and his mother are also suing Because We Care Alternative Middle School, which employed the bus driver, and the Milford School District, which transferred the boy to the Dover alternative school. The three boys who allegedly beat him are also named in the suit. The News Journal does not identify crime victims and is not naming the other boys because of their ages.

“It’s a case involving bullying and failure on the part of the schools to come up with the proper procedure and plan to prevent it,” said Eric M. Doroshow, the Milford attorney representing the victim. But “the main claim,” Doroshow said, is against the bus driver who knew the assault was going on “and did nothing to stop it.”

The driver, Frank Coverdale, could not be reached for comment. An official of the alternative school said they fired Coverdale immediately.

“It’s a very unfortunate thing that happened,” said the Rev. Gloria L. Cherry, the school’s representative. “He should have stopped the fight.” Cherry said she had not seen the suit, which was filed in New Castle County Superior Court last month. “I don’t think the child was hurt bad enough to sue, but people do,” she added.

While Coverdale drove the school bus on April 27, 2006, the three boys repeatedly punched and kicked the boyin the head and face, causing him to lose consciousness, the lawsuit alleges. At no time during the 87-minute long bus ride did Coverdale “attempt to intervene, stop the school bus or call 911, resulting in serious personal injuries,” the suit said.

Some of the victim’s injuries were permanent, Doroshow said. This includes traumatic head injuries, post-concussive syndrome with headaches and an injury to his right hand.

“He suffered severe and permanent injuries and we are asking for a jury to determine a fair amount of compensation,” he said.

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