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$700,000 Settlement for Victim of School Bus Molestation

The attorneys with Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., had the privilege to help a Pompton Lakes woman obtain justice for a wrong that was done to her when she was 15.

Attorneys with Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., representing a developmentally disabled woman who was molested by a school bus driver reached a $700,000 settlement with Laidlaw Educational Services, the company that employed the driver, The North Jersey Record reported. The two sides reached the settlement last week just before the woman’s lawsuit was ready to go to trial in Superior Court in Hackensack.

The woman, identified in court papers as S.R., was one of two students on their way to Ho-Ho-Kus school in January 2007 when the bus driver transporting them inappropriately touched them.

S.R. has Down syndrome, which makes her more vulnerable. While the 63-year old bus driver, Richard Noto, was criminally charged and pled guilty to aggravated criminal sexual contact, the young woman deserved more. On her behalf, Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., filed suit against the bus company—Laidlaw Educational Services—alleging that they were negligent in hiring and supervising the bus driver.

According to Samuel Davis, founding partner with Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., Noto had acted inappropriately with students before—hugging and kissing them and being present on school property when he wasn’t authorized. He had been dismissed from a previous job for drinking. Yet the company  employed him to work around children and failed to assign an aide to the bus that day.

While state law doesn’t require an aide to be present on the bus, Noto’s previous behavior should have warranted it, Mr. Davis said.

Mr. Davis said that if Laidlaw’s number one priority is safety, as they declare on their website, they would have never put profit over S.R.’s wellbeing on the bus that day. She fell victim to a sexual predator, in part because the company missed multiple red flags in his employment background check and failed to take appropriate steps to protect her and other passengers.

“This settlement should help our client move forward with her life and focus attention on a serious issue that employers need to address,” Mr. Davis said. “As a result of our client seeking justice, other students may be spared from harm.”

When a child is hurt, whether through an accident or a horrific scenario like this one, the responsible parties must be held to account. When someone in a position of power abuses their situation and causes harm to a child, justice must be served. For one woman, who was victimized by a school bus driver, justice has finally been delivered.

Contact the lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., if you or your child has been the victim of a sexual predator. Call 1-800-LAW-2000 for a consultation.