Settlement reached in
lawsuit against autistic student
The Associated Press
2/2/02 6:19 PM
VINELAND, N.J. (AP) -- An
out-of-court settlement has been reached in a lawsuit accusing a severely
autistic 10-year-old girl of assaulting her art teacher.
Dianne C. Sutton, the
longtime fine arts chairwoman at Rossi Intermediate School, filed the lawsuit
in 1996, claiming the girl squeezed her hand so hard that she required surgery
and a cortisone shot.
Sutton's lawyer, Steven L.
Rothman, would not discuss terms of the settlement. According to court
documents, possible amounts ranged from $30,000 to $50,000.
The girl, who has an
estimated I.Q. of 55, allegedly grabbed Sutton's right hand in October 1995,
twisting and squeezing it until a pupil aide intervened. According to
testimony, Sutton's hand was still in a cast four months later when the girl
approached her and touched her fingers.
The case was dismissed, but
reinstated on appeal.
An eight-member jury in
Cumberland County Superior Court could not reach a decision. But instead of a
retrial, their 5-3 decision was used to determine how much money Sutton would
Robert Kaplan, the
student's lawyer, declined comment.
Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All
INFORMATION, DATA, AND MATERIAL CONTAINED, PRESENTED, OR PROVIDED HERE IS FOR
GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS REFLECTING THE
KNOWLEDGE OR OPINIONS OF THE PUBLISHER, AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED OR INTENDED
AS PROVIDING MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE. THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO
VACCINATE IS AN IMPORTANT AND COMPLEX ISSUE AND SHOULD BE MADE BY YOU, AND YOU
ALONE, IN CONSULTATION WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.