A Saugerties High student and her mother are suing the Saugerties Central School District for $5,000 — the approximate cost of her medical bills after, according to court papers, she was “violently attacked” by another student as dozens of other students watched on April 4, 2018.
Attorney Regina Fitzpatrick, of Kingston-based O’Connor and Partners, is representing the 18-year-old victim and her mother, Judith Hinchey. The suit, filed in state Supreme Court on April 22, claims that the incident could have been prevented by school administrators.
“[The] attack occurred despite the fact that [administrators of the Saugerties Central School District] were on notice that [the alleged attacker] planned and intended on attacking [the] plaintiff,” states the complaint. (The Saugerties Times has decided to not print the names of the teenagers cited in the court papers.) “The school failed to take the necessary and in fact any precautions to prevent said attack from happening … The school further made representations to the infant plaintiff and plaintiff’s mother that they would prevent said occurrence from happening.”
According to a source close to the case, the alleged victim walked away from the altercation with a broken front tooth and cuts and bruises to the face.
According to the complaint, the alleged assailant was “known to have made violent and vicious threats.”
The complaint accuses school officials of “having knowledge of [the alleged attacker’s] dangerous propensities”; it also faults them for providing insufficient supervision of students and “allowing a large population of the school to gather in the parking lot who encouraged and incited further violence” on the day of the incident in question. Although the alleged victim’s injuries are not detailed in the court papers, they are characterized as “serious and severe.”
“There was no argument — the two of them had been friends, they stopped spending time together,” said the source close to the case. “Essentially, this girl made threats, told multiple students that she was going to cause a fight to happen. The school knew it and in fact told [the alleged victim’s] mother that they had taken care of it and they didn’t have to pick her up [from school early.]”
Saugerties Interim Superintendent Lawrence Mautone did not return phone calls seeking comment on the case.