Visitor Question

Detached Retina After Attack at School…

Submitted By: Kenia (Rochester, NY)

My son was going to school when he was attacked by a group of students on school property and ultimately stabbed in the eye with a pencil.

My son ran into the school building and was directed into the bathroom by the security guard to get him away from the children that were chasing him.

A school representative came into the bathroom and proceeded to tell my son to go home in spite of the fact that he was complaining of the pain in his eye. When he arrived at my mother’s house, as I was at work, she called me to let me know what happened and I immediately came home and took him to the emergency room. They treated him but did not detect the damage to his retina.

Weeks later he experienced sudden vision loss and was diagnosed with a detached retina.

The damage was such that the prognosis was not optimistic for a return of his vision. He has undergone, to this point, 2 operations and will need at least one more operation to repair the damage and give him his best chance at regaining vision in that eye.

I made a formal complaint with the school district and at the hearing where they took my son’s formal statement, I was asked what I was hoping to receive as a settlement in this case. I was not prepared to answer that question and now have 1 week to give them my answer.

I approached several attorneys about taking this case but was denied. No one would take the case.

I would like some kind of guideline on how to determine was is a fair settlement in this case.

Medical expenses, pain and suffering and potential loss of opportunities in life due to lack of vision in one eye.

He was considering the military but is now reconsidering his options due to the injury. He is 17 now. Thanks for any information you can give about this case.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Kenia,

It’s curious why you haven’t been able to find an attorney to accept your son’s case. It may be because the attorneys believe the school administration isn’t liable for criminal actions perpetrated by the students against your son. Unless the school officials had previous knowledge of the criminal propensities of one or more of the students who attacked your son, the school may escape liability.

You may have a criminal and a civil case against the parents of the children who attached your son. Parents are generally liable for the acts of their children. You and your son would be best served by continuing to seek legal representation. There must be at least one attorney who will agree to accept the case.

In the interim you probably shouldn’t accept any settlement or sign any documents given to you by school officials. Doing so may fully release the school from further liability. Once you release the school, you and your son may lose your legal right to pursue a civil action against them.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 27, 2013

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