BENTON, LA (KSLA) - The Bossier Parish School Board is considering an appeal and other post-trial remedies after a jury found the district guilty of negligence.
On September 23, a jury found the board was 100% at fault for not stopping a playground fight at Carrie Martin Elementary School in Plain Dealing two years ago.
Jeff and Daisy Brammer sued the school in March of 2013 after their 10-year-old son broke his arm when 3 students attacked him in December of 2012.
The suit alleges before the fight happened, the boy told teacher Tricia Huckaby another student had pushed him down, but she "took no action and instructed Jackson Brammer that there was nothing she could do about it."
The jury sided with the family and found the school board should pay the family $150,000.00 in damages and $12,674.13 for past medical expenses. According to Bossier Parish School Board attorney Roland McKneely, the BPSB has not made a final decision whether to appeal.
Adam Savoie, one of two of the Brammer's attorneys expects the judge to release his final judgement within the next two weeks. That judgement will be the verdict handed down by the jury and will include whether the board has to pay for the family's court fees.
According to Savoie, the district will have between 30 to 60 days from the release of the final judgement, depending on the type of appeal, the BPSB may choose a suspensive appeal or a devolutive appeal.
A suspensive appeal suspends the affect of the judgement. This type of appeal must be filed within 30 days of final judgement.
A devolutive appeal must be filed within 60 days, which does not suspend the execution of the judgment.
Though it is unclear whether the district will appeal, McKneely says the district would have a case if they did.
"There are several issues which, in my opinion, are appealable," says McKneely.
According to McKneely, this is not a bullying case. "Bullying is defined by La. R.S. 17:416.13, and bullying was outside the scope of this lawsuit, as ruled upon by Judge Jeff Cox," explained McKneely.
"This case involved an unfortunate playground accident. In cases such as this, the standard is 'whether or not the duty of reasonable supervision was breached'," McKneely added.
"I have spoken to my clients. They were very excited about the outcome, they felt that justice was done, they felt their voices were heard, by the representatives that served on that jury," Savoie said.
The Brammer family hopes BPSB will not file an appeal.
"If they do, it will be like telling those jurors, all citizens of Bossier Parish, that they have no intentions of honoring their ruling," Daisy Brammer said in a statement released to KSLA News 12.
If no appeal is filed, the district will have 30 days to pay the family.
According to McKneely, the BPSB's insurance will not cover the first $100,000.00, meaning the district will be liable for that amount.
"Any School Board money used to satisfy the judgement would come from the general fund," says McKneely.
When the judge releases the judgement, the clock will start ticking for the district to appeal.