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School board is named in lawsuit

June 02, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The mother of a boy who suffered permanent eye damage after a paper clip allegedly was shot at him by another student at Harpers Ferry (W.Va.) Middle School has sued the Jefferson County Board of Education over the incident, according to court records.

Matthew Sullivan was at Harpers Ferry Middle School in May 2004, when a classmate used a rubber band to shoot a paper clip into Sullivan's right eye, according to the suit, filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

The injury occurred after a series of volleys of so-called "paper footballs" by the two boys and other students, the suit said.

Sullivan's teacher, Charles Wall, did nothing to stop the misbehavior, the suit alleges.

Sullivan suffered severe and permanent damage to his right eye, including blurred vision, impaired depth perception, loss of normal sight and loss of normal appearance of the eye, the suit claims.

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Sullivan has had six eye surgeries and might be required to have more surgeries to maintain his impaired vision, the suit states.

Rebecca Sullivan, who filed the suit on behalf of her son, has faced more than $35,000 in medical expenses, the suit claims.

Also named as a defendant in the suit is a parent of the boy who allegedly fired the paper clip, the suit states.

The board of education was sued "as the employer and principal for its agent, Charles F. Wall," according to the suit.

The suit, prepared by Martinsburg attorney Larry Schultz, does not seek a specified judgment.

Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols declined to comment on the suit Thursday.

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