Do I have a lawsuit? My 5 year old son was let off his school bus near a busy and dangerous intersection by a substitute driver.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Colorado Springs, CO

According to the driver he wanted to play with his friends.This is the second time my son has been lost. The first day of school his teacher put him on the wrong school bus.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christopher Daniel Leroi

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I would definitely take it up the chain of command at the school district with the school district superintendent and the school board. I would exhaust all administrative options with the school district prior to contemplating a lawsuit against the school district. First, a lawsuit would be expensive. Second, the school district and school board need to be put on notice about what is happening and be given an opportunity to rectify the problem. Third, thankfully your child has not suffered any injuries as a result of their negligence.

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  2. Rebecca Mccormick Pepin

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . I agree with both of my colleagues in this matter. However, you do have a distressing issue which needs to be addressed. Please keep notes of what has happened each time, including with whom you spoke about the issue and what they said they would do to remedy the situation.
    Please email the principal of your school and the head of the school bus department and ask for a meeting. Explain that you have had two scary incidents with your young child, and you'd like to see what steps can be taken to make sure nothing happens in the future. (By addressing it as you all working together for resolution, rather than blame, you will get a better response.) Write down what you discuss, and what steps you've all agreed to take in the future. Write a thank you letter after the meeting and reaffirm what you all agreed to.
    You may also want to talk to a counselor for tips in how to talk to your son. He's 5, which is young and impulsive, but not without ability to process, learn and think. Finding the right way to present the rules of going to and from school is the real trick.
    If you find the principal and school district are non-responsive to your requests to meet, you may seek an attorney to help the communication.
    Good Luck!
    (And make sure your child knows his phone number!! An easy way to teach it to a young child is through a repetitive song - like the tune of frere Jacques... "My phone number" (child repeats My phone number) is 303 (is 303) 678 (678) 0560 (0560).

    This legal information is provided for general legal purposes and does not establish a client-attorney... more
  3. Stephen Clark Harkess

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I would second Mr. Leroi's advice.

    Fortunately, you do not have a viable lawsuit. Any negligence lawsuit requires actual damages. Potential damages are not enough. Your son was not harmed and you cannot sue for your emotional distress unless you can show that the driver's actions were extreme and intentional AND that you suffered physical symptoms or developed a mental illness as a result. Happily, this doesn't sound like the case.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney... more

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