Indiana News

Attorney: No Final Decision on Suing in Carmel Hazing Case

Claim notice is required step to keep lawsuit option open

4/29/2010

The attorney for a Carmel teenager who says three basketball players assaulted him says the family has not made a final decision whether to sue the school system.

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The claim notice Robert Turner filed with the Carmel-Clay Schools is a required step to keep open the possibility of a lawsuit. The family has two years to decide whether to sue.

"My clients are not screaming for anybody's head in this. We understand that young people make mistakes," Turner says. "But it's pretty clear there are some issues that need to be addressed."

Turner says he wants to see signs the school system has done something to prevent future hazing incidents. He says one legal claim if a suit is filed would center on the school's responsibility to protect its students.

The district says it's in the process of revising its procedures.

Other than the school district, Turner says there's been no decision on who else might be a defendant in any suit. The July 21 deadline to file a claim notice applies only to government entities.

Police and school officials have released few details of the accusations, and Turner isn't either -- he says he doesn't want to compromise prosecutors' investigation of the case, nor add to the harm to his client. The 15-year-old student reported being assaulted on the basketball team bus as the Greyhounds returned from a January 22 game at South Vigo.

Turner acknowledges some frustration at how long the investigation has taken. Prosecutors in Hendricks and Hamilton Counties have said they hope to complete their work by mid-to-late May.
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