Sunday, September 21, 2003

Jury award criticized

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A Mount Airy woman, whose 8-year-old daughter won a $139,000 jury award last week, said Saturday the amount isn't enough to meet the medical expenses the family has incurred as a result of the girl's injuries.

Lynyetta Banks, 28, said that her daughter, Shane Elliot, has nearly $33,000 in medical bills and will need continued therapy, both physical and psychological, as she grows older.

On Friday, a Hamilton County jury awarded Shane, $139,250, and Banks, $1,500 as a result of a 2002 lawsuit, which held a Lockland charter school liable for injuries the suit alleged were caused by an aide in her kindergarten class.

"I don't feel that my daughter has been properly compensated for what she has been through and what she'll have to go through in the future," Banks said.

The lawsuit contended that the aide at Greater Cincinnati Community Academy jerked Shane's chair from beneath her, causing the then-5-year-old girl to fall forward and slam her throat into the edge of her desk. The girl's left vocal cord was severed.

Attorney fees take a third of the reward, with the remainder going into a trust for Shane, who will not have access to it until she is an adult.


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