Samer Habbas Secures $500,000 Settlement for Disabled Student in Negligent Supervision Case

resultsManaging Partner Samer Habbas successfully settled a case for $500,000 on behalf of a disabled student who suffered due to the school’s negligent supervision. The victim, a 7 year old minor with severe, non-verbal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), was left unsupervised on her school’s playground structure during a regularly scheduled recess in the school day, when another male student and her undressed and began to make contact with each other’s body.  Due to the school’s employee’s negligent supervision, the male kid was able to put her in a bear hug.

After the incident, the victim’s parents retained our legal team to represent their child in the matter and we quickly initiated an investigation into the case facts. It was determined that at the time of both, the subject incident, as well as numerous separate incidents, the school maintained an inadequate student-to-staff ratio on campus such that the victim, and other students with disabilities, resulted in our client being left unsupervised and without proper aid.  This was in direct violation of our client’s special needs Individualized Education Plan (IEP), to which the school was required to adhere, and which mandated, inter alia, close staff supervision of the victim while on the playground with other students at the school during school hours, including that the victim was not to be out of the sight of aides for any amount of time. As evidenced by the case facts, the school negligently failed to uphold these obligations which resulted in our client suffering tremendously while in their care.

One of the obstacles facing us in litigation was proving our client’s damages.  As she was non-verbal and had significant preexisting conditions involving emotional instability, the burden was on us to prove how this incident impacted her.  Despite the challenges, Mr. Habbas was able to clearly establish our client’s damages, leading to a successful resolution for our client.

Samer HabbasAfter filing suit against the school district for negligent supervision, the Court ordered the parties to attend mediation. When the Court mandates mediation, the parties have no choice but to present in front of a mediator.  As directed by the Court, we attended mediation. However, the mediation ended when Habbas rejected the defendant school district’s “final offer” of $200,000.00.  Despite the risks and necessity of further litigation, Mr. Habbas did not hesitate ending the mediation with no settlement and fighting for a better result.   Habbas remained firm on his initial demand and refused to entertain any offer that would not provide our client with just resolution. Shortly thereafter, the defendant, knowing we were serious and willing to go to trial, reached out to us and settled the case for a rightful $500,000.00.

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multi million dollar award

multi million dollar award

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