Technical College Student Beat In the Presence of Faculty Members

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin associate Michael Fitzpatrick obtained a $150,000 mediated settlement for our client, an African immigrant who arrived in the United States and attended a local technical college in order to become a welder. Following graduation, he revisited the college in order to practice for an upcoming state examination. While in the school and practicing for the upcoming exam, he was confronted by a group of adult students who carried alcoholic beverages. At some point, one of these beverages was thrown at our client, leading to an argument and ultimately to a physical confrontation.

The group of students began punching and beating our client in the presence of faculty members. There were no security personnel in the school, which has 400 regular students, as well as adult night students. The assault was so vicious that our client suffered a torn retina, which required surgery and treatment. Both party and non-party witnesses testified to the fact that there have been prior problems with security, as well as issues with student behavior in the school, which at times warranted police presence. Our firm retained a security expert who opined that this type of confrontation was both foreseeable and preventable had the school employed better security measures, and that the failure to employ these security measures was the cause of our client's assault and resultant injuries.

The case was on the trial calendar in New York County when the defendant school moved for summary judgment. The matter was ultimately settled at a private mediation for $150,000.

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