LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A Palos Verdes high school student, who suffered severe burns due to her chemistry teacher's bizarre actions at a school sponsored event, filed a lawsuit on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and the chemistry teacher, Mr. Ryan Brown.
The incident happened on May 20, 2017, during a three-day trip for a Solar Boat Competition held at Lake Skinner in Riverside County. While the participating students sat around a bonfire the night before the event, Mr. Brown put hand sanitizer on his own hands, and on the hands of a high school boy sitting next to the victim. The teacher lit the boy's hands on fire, and then ignited his own hands. This caused the flames to jump from Mr. Brown's hands onto the 15-year-old victim's thighs as she sat in disbelief.
According to the lawsuit, the victim spent weeks in the Intensive Care Unit, during which time the school district and Mr. Brown attempted to cover up what happened, by convincing the high school boy sitting next to the victim to take responsibility for what happened, and by confiscating students' phones to delete text messages, videos and photos.
The truth only came to light due to the courage of students and personnel from other school districts who produced video which clearly shows that Mr. Brown was the one solely responsible for the devastating injuries suffered by the young student.
"The district should have publicly taken full responsibility for what happened to this student and tried to make things right from the outset," said the family's attorney, Scott Carr, with the law firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. "Instead, administrators have tried to hide the truth by allowing the victim to take the blame for what happened," added Carr.
In fact, because the school district refused to tell the students, parents and faculty what really happened, Palos Verdes high school students started a "Free Mr. Brown" campaign, where they hung posters throughout the school and sent messages through social media, under the false belief that it was the victim that had done something wrong, and not Mr. Brown. As a result, the student was victimized once again.
On August 10, 2017, the district rejected the family's government claim, which prompted them to file a civil lawsuit for physical and emotional damages.
The plaintiffs' legal team includes partner Scott Carr and attorney Taylor Rayfield with the Santa Monica plaintiffs' firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. GB&W is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured consumers across California to improve public safety and demand accountability.
CONTACT: Gina Fernandes, 1-626-356-3006, [email protected]
SOURCE Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP