First Student claims abuse took place after student exited bus, seeks summary judgment

Amelia Flood Nov. 22, 2010, 6:33am

First Student Inc., formerly Laidlaw Transportation Inc., is moving for summary judgment in a suit brought by a mother over abuse suffered by her daughter in or near a school bus three years ago.

Plaintiff Jane Doe filed suit two years ago against the company and Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 seeking damages in excess of $150,000.

Jane Doe claims that Laidlaw failed to supervise students on a bus departing from a Collinsville school.

That failure, the plaintiff claims, led to students groping and fondling her daughter as she got off the bus.

The plaintiff claims her daughter suffered mental and emotional distress and anguish as well as other damages due to the incident.

The Collinsville school district was dismissed without prejudice from the case in August.

First Student filed the summary judgment motion Nov. 17.

In the motion, the bus company claims that it did not owe a duty to the plaintiff's daughter in the third party attack that happened after she left the company's bus.

The company alleges the male student chased the girl down before pushing her to the ground and assaulting her.

The bus company points to the fact that the assault was carried out by a male student after the bus company dropped Jane Doe's daughter off and not while she rode its bus.

First Student alleges that its duty ceased when the girl safely exited the school bus and stepped onto the sidewalk.

The company also claims immunity under the Illinois School Code.

The plaintiff's response to the summary judgment move is not yet in the case file.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth presides.

John Hustava represents Jane Doe.

Thomas Magee represents First Student.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-679.

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