Parents file lawsuit after disabled daughter injured on school b - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents file lawsuit after disabled daughter injured on school bus

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The parents of an Iowa City disabled teenager are suing Iowa City school district and the bus service company after their daughter was ejected from her wheelchair while on the school bus.

Bradley Kaldahl says he will never forget that horrifying call from the bus company about his then 13-year old daughter, Samantha.

“Wheelchair flipped over onto her face,” said Kaldahl. “Was covered in blood, she had a laceration on her forehead, her mouth was all cut open, she had a tooth that was cut in half.”

His daughter has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and she was injured in May 2012 after a Durham School Services employee failed to properly secure the back his daughter’s wheelchair.

“Parents, we’re terrified about our child,” sand Kaldahl. “And you guys are a company that’s out there to transport children, that’s your responsibility.”

Kaldahl says to add insult to injury, the bus company who contracts with Iowa city school district, downplayed the whole incident.

“They basically marginalized it, minimized it and we were left to kind of figure out what all happened and how serious the accident was,” said Kaldahl.

He says originally the bus company told him his daughter suffered a minor bump on the head after the nearly 90-pound wheelchair landed on top of her.

However, once he got to the emergency room she was covered in blood.

“This is a child, this is not your business, this is my daughter,” said Kaldahl. “Take advantage of my daughter with disabilities, I find that absolutely reprehensible.”

He says the last two years have been full of agony.

Durham School Services have yet to cover any medical costs or wheelchair replacement, that's why the family says they've filed the lawsuit.

They're seeking damages for Samantha’s medical expenses, property damage, along with physical and mental pain and suffering.

Durham School Services spokesperson Molly Hart says, “Durham School Services’ top priority is the safety of the students we transport. We are taking the allegations very seriously, however, it is our policy to not comment on pending litigation.”

Due to pending litigation, the Iowa City School District declined to comment.
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