Jury finds Sergeant Bluff-Luton School District not negligent after abuse claims

Jury finds Sergeant Bluff-Luton School District not negligent after abuse claims


A Sergeant Bluff family has lost their multi-million dollar lawsuit against the local school district and two of its employees.

This follows claims a teacher abused their autistic child.

Kevin and Suzanne Gosch claim that in 2014, special education teacher Miranda Riediger dragged their 9-year-old first-grader across a carpet, causing these rug burns to his back and shoulders.

They'd turned down a $100,000 settlement and instead sued the SB-L school district, Riediger, and principal Kelly Adams for $10 million in damages.

But after six days of testimony, the federal jury rejected their claim.

"We are very disappointed by the jury verdict but we believe in the Civil Justice System in this country and we respect it despite our vehement disagree with it," said Gosch family lawyer Dave O'Brien.

O'Brien says the family may consider an appeal, but that could be an uphill battle.

"We will consider our appeal options although the trial judge here did a very good job of accurately stating the law in the jury instructions and that makes an appeal more difficult but we will explore that possibility," O'Brein said.

In an earlier decision, the Iowa State Department of Education ruled that Riediger did act appropriately during the incident.

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The lawyer representing a family suing the Sergeant Bluff-Luton school district says his clients are rejecting a settlement from the district.

Last December, Kevin and Suzanne Gosch filed suit in federal court claiming a special education teacher at SB-L injured their autistic nine year old son by dragging him across a carpeted classroom.

The district's attorneys offered to settle for $100,000.

But the family's attorney says the offer is a "fraction" of the damages suffered by his client.

He tells Siouxland News an expert says the child suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and will have to be institutionalized the rest of his life.

He says the family is now seeking $10 million in damages.

Previous story : Federal lawsuit filed against Sergeant-Bluff-Luton School District

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