Doe, John vs. Russell County School Board, et al.
Attorney Monica Beck filed a $10 Million lawsuit on behalf of a third-grader who suffered extreme sexual abuse at the hands of school custodian. The federal lawsuit garnered national attention and ignited a firestorm illuminating the scope of Title IX in K-12 schools.
John Doe’s claim presented tough facts and unusual procedural issues. Evidence showed that John Doe was abused by school custodian Bobby Gobble, both inside and outside, the school setting. Gobble allegedly befriended Doe’s family and took Doe to his house where Doe lived for a period of several months without objection.
The “unfounded” conclusion by welfare officials weakened the case for school officials’ liability and the family’s status raised procedural hurdles.
After being turned down by Virginia lawyers with education law experience, Doe’s counsel reached out to The Fierberg National Law Group to serve as co-counsel – bringing Monica Beck’s Title IX expertise to the case.
Evidence uncovered in discovery upset the balance in favor of Doe.
Gobble admitted to repeatedly molesting Doe in the school boiler room and custodian’s office, as well as in his home, his sister’s home and his vehicle. He also confessed to abuse of other children. He was convicted in state court and is serving a 100-year sentence.
The case exposed weaknesses in school practices, including lack of Title IX regulations and guidance, failed investigation into the follow-up on the case after learning about it, and lack of training regarding warning signs of sexual harassment, how to prevent it, how to investigate it and how to remedy it. The Russell County School Board and school personnel turned a blind eye to Gobble’s blatant sexual misconduct against Doe and other male students and created and fostered an environment in which Doe and other male students were vulnerable and subjected to Gobble’s deplorable sexual abuse.
Our lawsuit centered on a fundamental question: What obligations do the nation’s public schools have to prevent and investigate sexual assault on school grounds?
| Related Cases
Former MLB Outfielder Chad Curtis’ Sexual Assault of 4 Student-Athletes
Obtained a $1.8 Million verdict on behalf of one of our four clients in Federal Court. All four women settled with Lakewood Public Schools and its Board of Education in Western Michigan for $575,000.
Four student-athletes alleged former MLB player Chad Curtis sexually assaulted them under the guise of performing therapeutic massages while being a volunteer coach in the weight room of Lakewood High School in Barry County, Michigan. He was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in October 2013 and is serving 7 to 14 years in prison.Continue Reading
Ooltewah High School Sexual Assault Case
Filed suit against the school district, school and coaching staff under Title IX, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, and state law. Before trial, we accepted a substantial, six-figure settlement.
John Doe suffered a brutal sexual assault by his high school basketball teammates. Our firm filed suit against the school district, school and coaching staff under Title IX, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, and state law. The Court agreed with our claims, refused to dismiss the case, and issued a 60-page opinion setting legal standards that will help other survivors obtain justice.Continue Reading
Doe, Jane vs. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, et al and Wesleyan University
Rape at Fraternity with Long-Documented History of Dangerous Misconduct
United States District Court, District of Connecticut, Case No. 3:12-cv-01428Continue Reading
Doe, Jane v. Gwinnett County School District
In 2015, Ms. Doe, a 15-year-old sophomore, reported to the District that a fellow student had sexually assaulted her at Peachtree Ridge High School. The District responded by suspending her, twice.
United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, File No. 1:18-cv-05278Continue Reading