Published on:

Autistic Student Attacked On Bus; Jury Awards $158,000

images.jpeg In 2010, Alex Palermo was severely injured while aboard a school bus that was driving him home from his Boca Raton Middle School. Alex, then thirteen years old, was hit in the head repeatedly in rapid succession while the other students on the bus watched. Prior to the attack, other students had put gum in Alex’s hair, taunted him and stuck wet fingers in his ears. Alex, who is autistic, suffered a broken eye socket and a concussion as a result of the attack. According to Alex’s mother, he required emergency surgery in order to repair a muscle that was “caught in the broken orbital bone, preventing the eyeball from having full movement and causing a lot of pain.”

A video of the incident indicates that the bus driver, Wescot Desrosiers, did nothing to protect the child. His family filed suit after the incident, claiming that the School Board was negligent because the driver failed to protect Alex. The School Board claimed that the bus driver kept control over the rowdy children and reprimanded the student who hit Alex and also claimed that Alex was partially responsible for the accident because he engaged in the confrontation with the other student. Alex’s lawyers told jurors, “There’s nobody there for Alex. You need to control the situation before it escalates.”

Jurors agreed with Alex’s attorneys, found the School Board negligent for the attack, and awarded Alex and his family $158,611. The verdict directs the School Board to pay Alex’s $32,000 medical bills and awards him $75,000 for past pain and suffering as well as $50,000 for future pain and suffering. State law limits the award to $100,000 but Alex’s family is happy that justice was served for the boy. Alex suffers from occasional double and blurry vision and has permanent numbness in part of his face. Now 16, Alex hopes his good grades will lead him to a career as a history professor.

Jury: School Board negligent in 2010 bus beating, www.sun-sentinel.com October 23, 2012.


Alex Palermo was the victim of a horrific attack and personal injury. While his attacker has not been reprimanded, the school has been. The school owes a duty of care to its students to protect them from violent attacks. Because of the attack, Alex’s family was left to deal with rising medical expenses, physical therapy costs, mental anguish and a great deal of pain and suffering. Whether or not the students were acting negligently or intentionally, they left Alex Palermo with a lifetime of pain and medical expenses. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a personal injury, contact the South Florida personal injury lawyers at the Friedland Law Group today. Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona are expert trial attorneys who have a successful track record of recovering compensation for their clients. Don’t hesitate; call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!

The Miami personal injury lawyers at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of personal injury accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!