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Angry Mother Files Lawsuit Against School District, Police Who Handcuffed Child


A federal judge has dismissed a personal injury lawsuit filed against the Key West school district and three of its police officers related to the “arrest” of an 8-year-old boy who was accused of striking a teacher. The three officers involved in the incident still have cases pending against them.

The boy’s mother filed a lawsuit against the school district, three of its employees, and the Key West PD for the manner in which they handled the issue with the student. The school district filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the school district was “trying to teach the child a lesson” and “scare him into behaving.”

A Goofy Situation is Made Worse 

The school called the boy’s father into the school to handle the situation. However, they must have then decided that the best course of action was to place the child in handcuffs and then remove him in the back of a police car and told he was being arrested. Of course, the handcuffs were large enough to fit on the 8-year-old boy’s wrists so they were subsequently removed.

Damages in the Lawsuit 

The mother of the boy claimed that the child suffered severe psychological trauma after the incident. The trauma included physical symptoms such as hives, panic symptoms such as difficulty breathing, insomnia, and other stress-related symptoms.

However, the school district believes that it was in the right by summoning the police to deal with the 8-year-old child. They contend that the 8-year-old “struck a teacher” which authorized them to call police to remedy the situation. Of course, police were not necessary to control an 8-year-old boy.

Understanding Why This Lawsuit Failed 

A lot of lawsuits that would not be dismissed against private schools are dismissed against the state. This is because sovereign immunity laws prevent certain lawsuits against state employees who are working within the scope of their established duties. In other words, a plaintiff would need to show that the employee’s actions had nothing to do with their job description. Basic negligence actions against state employees require a higher standard of proof than negligence actions against private employees. So this was a lawsuit that was dismissed based on sovereign immunity rules.

The court ruled that calling the police on the 8-year-old child was within the scope of the school’s duty, and regardless of whether or not the child was traumatized by the incident, he and his family are blocked by law from recovering damages.

Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today 

If you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to recover damages from them or their employer. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at Payer Law today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.


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