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Federal judge allows Bethlehem Area School District wrongful death lawsuit

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, [...]

By |March 17th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Federal judge allows Bethlehem Area School District wrongful death lawsuit|

Judge: Wrongful-death case involving York woman will be heard in Newport News – Daily Press

NEWPORT NEWS — A Newport News Circuit Court judge denied a motion to have the trial involving a $ 2 million wrongful-death lawsuit moved to another city.
The family of Jacquelynn Schwartz filed the lawsuit late last year against medical company Conmed. Schwartz, 31, was found dead in her jail cell July 18, 2011 — three days after she was held in contempt by a Virginia Beach General District Court judge.
Jeff Rosen, an attorney for Conmed, argued that the case be heard in Virginia Beach instead of Newport News because the company doesn’t do substantial business in Newport News. During the Feb. 21 hearing, Rosen said that because Schwartz’s death occurred in Virginia Beach and there are potentially 35 witnesses from Virginia Beach who may testify, that the case should be heard there.

Thomas Albro, one of the attorneys representing the Schwartz family, argued that the company does substantial business in Newport News, which is grounds for the case to be conducted there.

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“The court accepts the representation of the plaintiff as to the percentage of business the contract with Conmed for the Newport News City Jail and the Newport News Juvenile Detention Facility represents to Conmed’s business within the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Fisher wrote.
Conmed provides all the healthcare services for the Newport News Correctional Facilities, Fisher noted in his Feb. 22 order.
Schwartz, 31, was found dead in her jail cell July 18, 2011 — three days after she was held in contempt by a Virginia Beach General District Court judge. Schwartz’s husband, David LaClair, is suing Conmed and three nurses it employed. The three nurses were on duty while Schwartz was in the jail’s custody.

By |March 2nd, 2013|News|Comments Off on Judge: Wrongful-death case involving York woman will be heard in Newport News – Daily Press|