Liberty High School in Bethlehem Express-Times File Photo
A federal judge is allowing a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Bethlehem Area School District to move forward.

The mother of a 16-year-old Liberty High School student, who collapsed in class in 2010 and died shortly after at the hospital, sued in December claiming if school district officials had acted faster her son would be alive.

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office determined Juanya Spady, 16, of the 200 block of West Lehigh Street in Bethlehem, died of natural causes from a seizure disorder but attorneys representing his mother, Mica D. Spady, disagree.

Today in federal court in Philadelphia, Judge Joel H. Slomsky denied the district’s motion to dismiss the suit. Slomsky said it’s rare for him to throw out a claim for damages this early without knowing any facts beyond what’s alleged in the plaintiff’s complaint.

Spady seeks a jury trial and at least $ 150,000 in damages for the loss of her son and her mental anguish. The suit asks for a court order to stop unlawful district practices that violated the boy’s civil rights.

The school district’s attorney, Paul G. Lees, declined to comment following the hearing, saying he never speaks about pending litigation.

Spady’s attorney, Joe Welsh, said he was pleased nothing in his case was thrown out.

“Hopefully, it brings Ms. Spady one step closer to closure,” Welsh said.

At this stage of the case, all well-pleaded facts in the complaint are taken as true, he said. He expects as the case progresses he’ll be able to prove the facts in his complaint and new facts will emerge that allow the suit to go before a jury.

The lawsuit says that although Juanya said he wasn’t up to it, [...]