United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Alonda Crittenden, Individually and as Guardian Ad Litem for J.C., a minor under the age of eighteen 18 years Plaintiff,
Florence County School District One, Bernard A. McIntosh, Myra Isaiah, and Janeene Johnson, Defendants.
& Childs, L.L.C. By Laura Callaway Hart, William C.
Freeman Attorneys for Florence County School District One
Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, P.A. By
Neil Alger, Lee D. Cope Attorneys for Petitioner
Davidson & Lindemann, P.A. By William H. Davidson, II
Attorneys for Bernard A. McIntosh
Law Firm of SC, LLP By: John R. Moorman, Attorneys for
Crittenden, Guardian ad Litem and natural parent of J.C., the
Crittenden, natural parent of J.C., the Minor plaintiff.
ORDER APPROVING MINOR SETTLEMENT
BRYAN HARWELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon the Petition of Alonda
Crittenden, Individually and as Guardian ad Litem of J.C., a
minor under the age of eighteen (18) years, to approve a
settlement agreed upon between Petitioner and Florence County
School District One ("the District") and Bernard A.
McIntosh ("McIntosh"). The Petitioner and counsel
appeared before me to present the Petition and seek approval.
parties have represented to the Court that all parties to
this settlement are properly represented and are properly
before the Court, no questions exist as to misjoinder or
nonjoinder of parties, and the Court has jurisdiction over
the subject matter and the parties.
filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas for the County
of Florence, South Carolina, which lawsuit was removed by the
Defendants to this Court, asserting claims against Florence
County School District ("the District"), Bernard A.
McIntosh ("McIntosh"), Myra Isaiah, and Janeene
Johnson, based on injuries allegedly sustained by the minor
person J.C., (hereinafter "the minor person"),
arising out of an incident on November 6, 2014 in which
Bernard A. McIntosh, a former employee of the District,
allegedly assaulted the minor person
i while the minor person was a
student at the Clinical Day Program which serves some
students with disabilities consisting of serious behavioral
problems in the District in Florence County, South Carolina.
Prior to this Petition, Petitioner and all other parties
named in the lawsuit stipulated to the dismissal with
prejudice of the District's employee Myra Isaiah and the
District's former employee Janeene Johnson from the
lawsuit, and they have been so dismissed with prejudice.
minor person received no medical treatment for physical
injury resulting from the incident. Some weeks, months, and
years after the incident, the minor person received
psychiatric and psychological treatment from various mental
health providers, but there is a serious question as to
whether such treatment was for mental and emotional injury
and distress allegedly resulting from the above-described
incident or was instead solely related to the continuation
and progression of the minor person's serious
pre-existing psychiatric and/or psychological conditions and,
therefore, was not related to the above-described incident.
As of the date of this hearing, Medicaid is seeking
subrogation and reimbursement in the amount of $3, 591.64.
Petitioner is disputing this amount, however, Petitioner
further agrees and acknowledges that she, individually as
parent of the minor, J.C., shall be solely responsible for
the satisfaction of this lien and any future liens asserted
by Medicaid. The disputed amount of $3, 591.64 is being
withheld from the individual settlement of Petitioner and of
John Crittenden, as natural parents of the minor, J.C.,
pending the resolution of this dispute.
are very serious issues as to whether McIntosh can he held
liable for the damages of the minor person or other injured
parties. McIntosh expressly denies liability for any injury
to the minor persons or other parties. Petitioner claims that
McIntosh was grossly negligent in assaulting and failing to
act reasonably with respect to the minor person and, further,
that he violated the minor's substantive due process
rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United
States Constitution by depriving the minor of his bodily
integrity. McIntosh argues that he was not grossly negligent
and that his behavior did not shock the conscience nor was it
egregious or arbitrary in the constitutional sense.
Therefore, Petitioner, based upon the advice of her attorney
and her understanding of the claims against McIntosh,
understands that liability is questionable.
are also very serious issues as to whether the District can
be held liable for the damages of the minor person or other
injured parties. The District expressly denies liability for
any injury to the minor person or other parties. Petitioner
claims that the District was grossly negligent in its hiring,
training and supervision of McIntosh and, further, that the
District violated the substantive due process rights of the
minor person by failing to protect him from the alleged
assault by McIntosh. The District argues that it was not
grossly negligent, but rather that it met and greatly
exceeded the standard of "slight care" required
under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act in its hiring,
training and supervision of its employees and, specifically,
of McIntosh, as well as in its supervision and protection of
its student, the minor person. The District also argues that
it had no policy, custom, or persistent and widespread
practice of failing to properly train or supervise its
employees, and that it was not deliberately indifferent to
the rights of its students and, particularly, of the minor
person. Therefore, Petitioner, based upon the advice of her
attorney and her understanding of the claims against the
District, understands that liability is questionable.
Petitioner retained the law firms of Peters, Murdaugh,
Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, P.A. and Bryan Law Firm of
SC, LLP as legal counsel in this matter and, pursuant to the
agreement between the Petitioner and her legal counsel,
Petitioner's legal counsel will receive, from the
proceeds of the settlement, Thirty-Three Thousand, Three
Hundred, Thirty-Three and 34/100 Dollars ($33, 333.34) in
attorneys' fees in this action and for all claims against
the Defendants, their officials, employees, agents,
properties, servants, insurers, indemnitors and ...