Case Highlights: School Safety and Youth Safety
District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia: The Firm represented the family of a 12 year-old boy who was sexually assaulted at an overnight Summer camp owned and operated by the District of Columbia. Suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the District and others alleging civil rights violations (42 U.S.C. sec. 1983) and other common law claims. Extensive discovery established that numerous children at this camp were left unsupervised for extended periods of time, and that other campers had been sexually assaulted. The facts and circumstances of this case were the subject of a lead article in The Legal Times. The family accepted a substantial financial settlement. Suit on behalf of another young victim (Ronnie "M") is pending in the U.S. District Court. Kara "M," individually, and on behalf of her minor son, "Nico" v. District of Columbia et al.
Montgomery County, MarylandMontgomery County, Maryland: The Firm represented Joe Snell against the Omega Psi Phi fraternity in a case alleging that the defendant violently hazed him by, among other things, beating him, whipping him, and holding a heat lamp to his face to darken his skin because he was not deemed "black enough" to gain admission to the fraternity. After several days of trial, the jury entered a verdict of $375,000, compensating Mr. Snell for his injuries and awarding punitive damages against the fraternity. Snell v. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
TennesseeTennessee: Joseph T. Green, Jr. ("Jo Jo"), died following an evening of initiation by the Rho Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at Tennessee State University . The Firm represented Mr. Greenís family in a suit against the fraternity. Jo Jo was a minister to youth in his community, and an honorably discharged Navy veteran who had been awarded the National Medal of Honor. Mr. Greenís surviving parents obtained a substantial confidential financial settlement. Lentora Parker and Joseph T. Green, Sr. v. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity et al.
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- Chip, a freshman high school student, was hazed by older, stronger wrestlers in the school's locker room. On numerous occasions Chip was forcibly held down and prodded on the rectum with a broomstick by the perpetrator named "Pedro." These incidents prompted students to humiliate plaintiff in the school hallways with taunts that he "liked it up the butt," or that he was gay. ABC 20/20 featured this incident in a report on the increase in violent hazing in high schools. Mr. Fierberg represented Chip and negotiated a substantial confidential settlement from the individual perpetrators and the school. In addition, concessions were obtained from the school designed to implement important changes in its codes of conduct to prevent future harm to students. Client v. Stow-Monroe Falls High School , et al.
- The Firm represented the plaintiff Jane Doe, who was multiply raped at gunpoint in a local park. Jane and defendant John Doe were classmates. In a civil suit, Jane filed suit against John, claiming that evidence discovered after the rape indicated that he had set her up to be sexually assaulted by his friends. Jane also claimed that John's family had used its wealth and resources to arrange for John to leave the country and avoid suit before expiration of the statute of limitations. After extensive pre-trial litigation and motions, the Firm located John and served him with the complaint. Bode and Grenier successfully opposed Johnís motions to dismiss the litigation. Jane obtained a substantial, confidential settlement shortly after discovery in the case began. Jane Doe, a minor, v. John Doe.