Inadequate Security Alleged in Broward County Injury Lawsuit of Teen Left with Brain Damage After Beating at Deerfield School

The mother of Josie Lou Ratley, 16, wants the Broward School District to pay her daughter Florida personal injury compensation for the brain damage and permanent injuries she sustained during a severe beating at Deerfield Beach Middle School last year. Ratley was attacked at a campus bus stop last March by 16-year-old Wayne Treacy. He is charged with the adult crime of first-degree attempted murder. Also charged in the attack on Ratley is 14-year-old Kayla Manson with attempted murder, who allegedly pointed Ratley to Treacy when he arrived at the middle school.

Per the Broward County personal injury complaint, the plaintiff is accusing the school district of providing inadequate security and not properly supervising the bus pickup area. The lawsuit also claims that Treacy, a high school student, was allowed to “openly walk” onto the middle school grounds even though he wasn’t supposed to be there.

Treacy attacked Ratley several hours after exchanging text messages with her. He reportedly thought she was making fun of his brother’s death by suicide. He is accused of pushing Ratley’s head into the concrete and using his steel-toed boots to kick her “in the head, soccer style,” per the words used by Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti last year when describing to ABC News what happened. The assault finally stopped when a teacher pulled Treacy off Ratley.

Her head injury was so severe that part of her skull had to be removed so the swelling good abate. She also sustained bruises all over her body.

Inadequate Security
In recent years, the lack of security on schools grounds have allowed for an escalation of violence that goes far beyond the pettiness of name calling and schoolyard roughhousing. Kids have brought guns and knives to school, and beatings, severe bullying, and even shooting sprees have happened, causing serious injury and death to students.

Questions that might arise during a Broward County premises liability lawsuit over a personal injury:

• Does the school provide adequate security?
• Are there reasons, such as a history of violent crimes in or around the area, for why more security should have been provided?
• Could the school have prevented the violent crime?
• Where there warning signs, such as the suspicious mental or behavioral problems of a particular student, that school officials could have addressed before the crime happened?

Mom of Josie Lou Ratley sues Broward Schools for negligence, Sun-Sentinel, January 27, 2011
‘Text Rage’ Leads to Alleged Brutal Teen Beating, ABC News, March 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Broward Schools

Inadequate Security, Justia