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Parents of disabled student sue Hawkins County Board of Education

June 26th, 2007 12:00 am by Jeff Bobo

ROGERSVILLE - The parents of a wheelchair-bound Hawkins County child have filed a lawsuit seeking $100,000 in damages stemming from an alleged accident that occurred on a school bus last year.

Scottie and Cora Brown of Mount Carmel filed the lawsuit earlier this month in Hawkins County Circuit Court claiming that their son, Tyler Brown, was not properly restrained in a school bus incident alleged to have occurred on June 7, 2006.

The lawsuit claims that Tyler Brown's wheelchair was not properly secured in the school bus as it turned onto the campus of Carters Valley Elementary School that morning. As a result the wheelchair allegedly "tipped over causing (Tyler Brown) to turn completely over, striking his head on some part of the bus," the lawsuit alleges.

"Tyler Brown received serious and disabling injuries over and about his head, face and other parts of his body," states the lawsuit, which was drafted by Kingsport attorney K. Jeffery Luethke. "The injuries sustained by plaintiff Tyler Brown were severe and painful and resulted in an increase in the number of seizures that plaintiff had for several months following the incident."

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the Hawkins County Board of Education, as well as the bus driver at the time Shelby J. Gouge and an aide, Pam Linkous.

The lawsuit seeks $50,000 in compensatory damages for Tyler Brown and $25,000 for each of his parents in compensatory damages.

Hawkins County Director of Schools Clayton Armstrong said Monday he is aware of the alleged incident involving Tyler Brown, but he has not yet been served with legal papers. Armstrong reserved comment on the lawsuit until he has time to look over the suit and discuss it with legal counsel.

No court dates have been set as of yet regarding this lawsuit.

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