BALTIMORE (CN) – Bowling Brook Preparatory School killed a student by having seven staff members sit on him for “multiple hours,” part of its policy of aggressive physical restraint, the late Isaiah Simmons’ family claims in Federal Court.
Simmons’ family also sued the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, which ordered Simmons to attend Bowling Brook as part of the defendants’ residential juvenile detention program. They claim the school’s policy of having staff members sit on students, face down, for “multiple hours,” had injured other students and sent one to the emergency room, before it killed Simmons, who was 17.
Plaintiffs claim the school’s restraint policy so alarmed nurses that they protested it in the summer of 2006, to no avail.
They claim the seven defendant employees threw Simmons to the ground on Jan. 23, 2007, sat on his arms, legs and back, and “applied continual restraint and physical exertion upon Isaiah Simmons III for multiple hours,” despite his complaints that he was in pain and could not breathe.
They asphyxiated him and then waited 40 minutes after he stopped breathing to call 911, and Simmons died, the complaint states. Defendant Michael Sunday, the directors of the school, knew of the dangerous policy but did not stop it, Simmons’ family says.
Represented by Keith Kauffman, they demand punitive damages for wrongful death, negligence and constitutional offenses.