My daughter wasn't just bullied, she was tortured...
A couple of years ago my daughter confessed that she had been the victim of bullying when she was 8 years old. The true nature of what happened did not come to light until about 4 months ago when the panic attacks became so severe that she could no longer attend school. My former honor roll student spent 3 weeks in the hospital and was diagnosed with PTSD, which then progressed into a dissociative disorder.
It turns out she was not just bullied, but tortured over a period of 2 years by one girl. The attacks were physical, brutal, and sadistic. In one incident the girl removed a ribbon from her hair and choked my daughter until she passed out. She also stabbed her with objects and beat her up almost every day.
The girl lied and manipulated to hide what she was doing, and my daughter was so terrorized she never told on her, but I know that other children saw. I spoke with one of her teachers who suspected something because other children had come forward, but she could never catch her in the act.
For myself, I remember the bruises, all the time, on her legs. My daughter told me it happened on the playground but never told me it was caused by another student beating her up. One incident sent her to the school nurse because she "hurt her back," but the real cause was that this girl had pushed her backwards off the playground equipment.
One documented incident was when one of the girl's friends had been trying to stab my daughter with a pencil and was suspended. Other than that, all the physical attacks were from one girl.
Verbally, she used racial slurs and told my daughter to kill herself along with every obscene word available. My daughter is now suicidal.
We have spent $1000's (even though we are insured) for copays and coinsurance, and we are looking at years of therapy. She may never fully recover.
The perpetrator is from a well to do family who owns their own business. The girl has attended a private school since she left the school where she tormented my daughter. She is in extreme cheerleading classes. I want to sue her and her parents for ruining my daughter's life, and the school for not supervising enough when they suspected there was a problem.
This happened from 2008-2011 in Florence, South Carolina. We now live in Florida. Do we have a case? Is there anything that can legally be done about this? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "My daughter wasn't just bullied, she was tortured...":
Unfortunately the statute of limitations for a civil action for personal injury in the state of South Carolina is three years. From the facts you present, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for the injuries to your child has long expired.
If you had acted within the three-year statutory period you would have likely had a viable personal injury claim against the parents of the bullying child and the school district. The school district had a legal duty to protect your daughter. They apparently wholly failed in their duty.
However, you also were aware of the bullying and decided not to act until later. You failed to mitigate your daughter's injuries. That in and of itself raises the question of why you are only now bringing up the issue.
You may be able to bring charges against the girl and her parents, but a criminal charge would not necessarily result in a monetary judgment in your favor. Regardless, you should speak with a personal injury attorney licensed in the state of South Carolina.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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