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ASD pays out in abuse suit

Posted: Saturday, Jan 19th, 2013

ALAMOSA — A former Ortega Middle School (OMS) special education student and his guardian settled a lawsuit against the Alamosa School District (ASD) for abuse.

According to the final release and settlement agreement, the ASD paid Anthony Biden and his guardian, Angie Lain Navares, for a number of abuses including “failing to properly hydrate Birden, the alleged formation of sores on his buttocks from excessive time in his wheelchair at school, the duct taping incident which occurred on April 16, 2010 at OMS...”

Since the finalization of the settlement, the U.S. District Court in Denver dismissed the case, according to reports.

The original complaint dated October 2011 alleged Birden, who was 14 years old at the time battling shaken baby syndrome induced cerebral palsy, arrived home from school duct taped to his wheelchair, according to reports. It also accused San Luis Valley Board of Cooperative Education Services (SLV BOCES) teacher Leslie Garcia and other staff of allegedly failing to provide Birden sufficient drinking water because they didn’t want to tend to his diaper, which contributed to his buttocks sores.

In addition, Birden claimed he was restrained with an oven mitt placed on his right hand, which was considered his main use of communication, to prevent him from scratching and gagging himself, according to reports.

The settlement will pay for $187.62 worth of Medicaid payments related to medical treatments related to the incident, according to the agreement. The defendant, who includes the ASD, SLV BOCES and Garcia, will issue a check to Navares in the amount of $37,312.38.

The ASD and SLV BOCES also agreed to a number of conditions listed in the settlement. The conditions include staff trainings and providing ASD special education parents with training information.

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