Lawsuit Filed On Behalf of Teen “Body Slammed” by School Security Guard

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steven franklin huntsville alabama student hospitalized cory watson attorneys

Hospitalized Huntsville, AL Student Obtains Legal Representation Against Security Guard

A high school student who suffered traumatic head injuries at the hands of a school security guard is suing the guard and the guard’s employer for negligence in the incident that sent the teen to the intensive care unit.

The incident occurred on May 21 when a fight broke out outside of Mae Jemison High School in Huntsville. Witnesses said John Phillips, a contracted school security guard, stepped in after punches were thrown at 15-year-old Steven Franklin, Jr. The security guard allegedly “body-slammed” the teen head-first onto the concrete ground, causing traumatic head injuries.

Steven Franklin and his family have obtained legal representation from principal attorney Leila Watson of Cory Watson Attorneys, a nationally recognized personal injury firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. The family seeks compensation for his injuries.

“It is troubling that a security guard employed by a school contractor like EPSCO would feel it necessary, or okay, to use this kind of excessive force against a 15-year old student,” said Watson.

Ms. Watson and her legal team have been in contact with Huntsville City Schools and local law enforcement. Together, they are working to determine what, if any, training and vetting policies and procedures former Huntsville City Schools contractor EPSCO had in place for school security guards.

“This lawsuit sends a message that school security guards are there to protect the students – not to harm them,” said Watson. “Our goal is to find answers and provide justice, and by bringing this to court, make sure it never happens again.”

Student Sent to ICU With Cracked Skull, Traumatic Brain Injury

Franklin suffered a seizure, a cracked skull, and internal bleeding following the incident. He spent several days in the intensive care unit at a local hospital and underwent emergency brain surgery to reduce swelling.

“After dealing with traumatic head injuries, Steven and his family deserve justice,” said attorney Joel Caldwell, who serves on the Cory Watson team representing Franklin and his mother. “Students should always be safe at school, and this security guard failed to protect them.”

Security staffing firm EPSCO Inc. is named as a defendant in the suit as well as the former school security employee, John Phillips. School officials reported that Phillips is no longer on duty.

Franklin is still experiencing side effects from the incident, including swelling, headaches, and loss of memory.

“We hope Steven fully recovers from his injuries,” said Watson. “He will never forget what happened to him on that day, and those responsible will now have a jury to answer to.”

The complaint #47-CV-2018 was filed on July 6, 2018, in the Circuit Court for Madison County, Alabama.


About Cory Watson Attorneys

Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury firm based in Birmingham, Ala., with more than 3 Billion in recoveries for clients. Attorneys are frequently appointed to leadership positions in national cases involving pharmaceuticals and defective devices. Practice areas include class actions, mass torts, wrongful death, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, and environmental litigation.


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