Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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$49.3 million verdict for teen raped by teacher starstarstarstarstar

Leighton Law’s John Leighton and Max Panoff won a $49.3 million verdict for a teenager who was raped by her math teacher inside a public school.  The young woman was “groomed” by her South Dade High School geometry teacher, who began with texts to the student’s cell phone and then made very personal overtures toward her.  This led to him texting her nude photos of his genitals.  He then kept her after class, closed and locked the classroom door, and began an improper sexual relationship.  This culminated in his taking her virginity on his desk in the classroom during school hours.

Despite his improper communication with another young female student a few years earlier, which had been brought to the school’s attention, the teacher, Bresnniel Jansen, was never disciplined or given any supervision.  In fact, his classroom provided a locked, windowless environment for him to perpetrate his illegal sexual acts.  He had two consecutive planning periods and lunch, giving him several hours of unfettered privacy in the middle of a major high school.

Once discovered, Jansen pleaded guilty to several felony sex counts and received 10 years of supervised probation and lifetime sex offender status.  Jansen violated his probation and was incarcerated for less than a  year before being released again.  The  student victim, identified as CRR, retained Leighton Law, who brought negligence and Title IX claims against the School Board which were confidentially settled. They also brought intentional tort claims against Jansen for rape, battery and abuse. This young woman has obtained needed counseling and is a college student who intends to pursue a career in nursing.

On November 14, 2017 a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court jury rendered a verdict for CRR for $49.3 million.

This case highlights the growing problem of sexual assault on students by teachers in schools.  Because of a lack of training, poor hiring and deficient supervision, certain teachers who should not be in close proximity to children are allowed unfettered access to young students with very little accountability.  Leighton Law continues to believe that by shining a bright light on sexual abuse by teachers, schools and school districts will take this problem much more seriously and address the deficiencies which directly lead to child sex abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.