Leon County School Board, employee sued after fifth-grader allegedly run over by golf cart

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A lawsuit filed last week in Leon County alleges a 5th grade girl was permanently injured after getting run over by a golf cart in October 2019. The girl’s parents are the plaintiffs, seeking damages in excess of $30,000, according to a complaint obtained by WCTV.

The defendants include the Leon County School Board and the district employee accused of driving the golf cart. The alleged incident happened October 28, 2019, at DeSoto Trail Elementary.

According to court documents, the employee was in a golf cart and saw the fifth-grade girl behind him. He reversed the cart even though he knew the girl was not moving, according to the complaint. He allegedly ran the girl over “at least twice” and failed to call 911 or the school nurse after the incident.

Joe Longfellow is the lead attorney representing the girl’s parents in this case. He said the girl was outside with her class learning about bike safety when it happened. Longfellow claims the golf cart used didn’t have a functioning back-up alert.

According to Longfellow, the girl has suffered chronic back pain and emotional trauma. Her parents are also suffering, he said.

“As a parent, you send your kids to school you would think they would be safe. If something like this happened, they would do the right thing," he said.

"Instead of doing the right thing, the school did the wrong thing. They did not immediately notify the parents.”

The lawsuit claims negligence on the school board and the employee for, in part, a lack of proper training. WCTV reached out to a school district spokesperson, who said the district wouldn’t comment on ongoing litigation.

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