St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson approved settlement terms in a lawsuit alleging a bus driver duct taped a minor boy’s arms together during a ride to school.

Gleeson stated that he found the proposed settlement "fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the plaintiffs and, particularly, A.W., a minor.”

According to the complaint filed on April 23, Robert Wainner and Kristina Miller, parents of the boy identified as A.W., claim their son was riding on the school bus operated by Durham School Services on April 24, 2012, when bus monitor Gertrude Gebhart allegedly restrained the boy’s body and arms with duct tape.

Gebhart had argued that she was protecting the student from harming himself and that the bus was not equipped with the required safety straps.

The settlement filed on behalf of all defendants was approved on Nov. 26 and grants the plaintiff $40,000 as well as an additional offer of $2,500 towards payment of necessary guardianship expenses.

Gleeson distributed the settlement, awarding plaintiffs' firm Crowder & Scroggins $13,333.33 in attorneys’ fees and $519.73 for costs incurred in prosecuting the claims. He awarded the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services $68 for medical expenses on the plaintiffs’ behalf. The boy’s parents were given $315 as compensation, according to the Rights of Married Persons Act. And A.W. was awarded $25,763.24 for his alleged injuries.

Thomas J. Smith of Fox Galvin, LLC in St. Louis represented Durham School Services.

Beth C. Boggs of James P. McCune, III of Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs, LLC in St. Louis; and Cynthia Ramirez of Chicago represented Gebhart.

Clay B. St. Clair and Natalie S. Steppig of Crowder & Scoggins in Columbia represented the plaintiffs.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-212

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