A federal judge has approved a $350,000 settlement in a lawsuit
alleging an autistic boy — who cannot speak — was repeatedly hit and
called names by a teacher at the Greene Valley State school in
Lawsuit alleging teacher slapped autistic boy settled for $350k
An order signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush says the boy’s family will receive $232,177 and the two law firms representing the boy will split $117,822.
The lawsuit filed earlier this year alleged the boy’s rights were violated and he suffered “bodily harm and emotional distress” when he was allegedly hit, slapped and called names by teacher Janet Carrie Williams, who is no longer employed by the school. The suit also named Greene Valley director Peggy Robinson, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Board of Education.
The settlement noted the defendants disputed the facts of the allegations along with the “extent of any injuries sustained.” A state official said the settlement amount will be paid out of the state’s legal expense fund.
The boy, now 8, weighs 95 pounds. The father stated, in the document, the boy was diagnosed with autism, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This settlement resolves the civil lawsuit. The boy’s family has also filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.
Williams, the teacher, also faces criminal charges. In May, she pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors, and was instructed not to contact the boy or his family or have any contact with other children. If convicted, she faces fines and jail time — up to 15 days on one count and one year on another.