WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb School District Seeks to Settle Lawsuit

Apr 23, 2020

The Macomb School Board has told Superintendent Patrick Twomey to try again to reach an out-of-court settlement in the federal lawsuit against the district.

Dr. Twomey said any settlement must include a clause stating no admission of guilt by the district.

“We believe that we were not culpable of any wrongdoing. We don’t think that the district was responsible for anything that happened. And we don’t think that we were negligent in anything we did,” Twomey told Tri States Public Radio.

He said the case is scheduled to go to trial in August. He said he would prefer to settle ahead of time.

Two former students filed the civil lawsuit more than two years ago.

The women said that when they attended Macomb High School, a male student sexually assaulted and harassed them repeatedly on school grounds. The women said they reported what happened to them but school administrators failed to take any action.

The names of the students involved in the case are not included in court files because they were juveniles at the time of the alleged attacks.

The lawsuit asked for $10 million.

Twomey said they’ve tried several times to reach a settlement.

“They still demanded $6 million. Now they’re asking $5 million. So we just need to meet and see where they really are at,” said Twomey. “Then we’ll know whether or not there’s an opportunity to talk with the insurance company about a settlement.”

According to the lawsuit, the McDonough County State’s Attorney filed juvenile criminal sexual abuse charges against the male student in the fall of 2016. The document also said the student served time in a juvenile detention facility and wrote a letter of apology.

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