The mother of a minor child claims a student attacked her daughter while they were riding on the bus together, breaking her child’s nose.
Cora Jackson claims her daughter De’Ja Payne was riding on a school bus on Jan. 11, 2011, when another student, Nickeynon Banner, approached her and began to tease her about her weight. Payne, who was a student at West Junior High in Belleville at the time, asked Banner to leave her alone, according to the complaint filed June 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
“Banner then approached De’ja and struck her in the face with his closed fist approximately five times,” the suit states.
In the months leading up to the incident, Banner had repeatedly taunted and bullied Payne. The school, including the bus driver, was aware of Banner’s proclivity toward violence. Despite these facts and the bus’s policy to always have an aide on the bus at all times, there was no aide on the bus on the day Banner punched Payne, the complaint says.
Because of the attack, Payne suffered from a broken nose, facial scarring and nose bleeds; experienced physical and mental pain and anguish; and incurred medical costs, Jackson claims.
Jackson blames the bus company and Payne’s school district, Belleville Public School District No. 118, for causing her daughter’s injuries, saying they negligently failed to provide an aide to ensure the students’ safety, failed to prevent Banner from attacking Payne when it knew he had taunted her in the past, failed to intervene and prevent the attack on Payne and failed to transport De’Ja with reasonable safety, among other negligent actions.
In her complaint, Jackson is seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs.
Brian Kurth of Meyerkord and Meyerkord in St. Louis will be representing her.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-327.