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February 28, 2023
The town of Greenwich, Conn., has agreed to pay $5 million to the estate of Bartlomiej (Bart) Palosz to settle a lawsuit arising from his suicide on the first day of his sophomore year in 2013 resulting from the failure to protect Bart from more than four years of vicious bullying in the Greenwich public schools. This is believed to be the largest municipal settlement of school bullying claims in Connecticut.
Responding to the settlement, Bart’s family said: “Bart was a kind and wonderful boy who should never have had to endure the daily torment he experienced at school. We miss him every single day and our lives have been devastated by his suicide. We brought this lawsuit to speak up for Bart and for other vulnerable victims of school bullying in Greenwich and elsewhere. It is our deepest hope that this lawsuit will change how the Greenwich school system responds to bullied students so that there will be no more needless and tragic deaths.”
Between 2009 and 2013, Bart was repeatedly punched, kicked, pushed downstairs, shoved into his locker, pelted with trash, called names, kicked, and otherwise harassed in school, and attacked while leaving school on his bike and on the school bus, and pushed into thorn bushes. Despite over 25 reports of bullying, school administrators and staff repeatedly failed to comply with the Town’s mandatory Bullying Policy and did nothing to prevent the bullying from occurring or to keep Bart safe.
“This case is important not only because it vindicates Bart’s right to be protected from bullying but also because Connecticut courts repeatedly rejected the town’s claim that it had immunity and could not be held liable for failing to protect students who are bullied in school,” said Partner Jennifer B. Goldstein, one of the attorneys representing the Palosz family. The family was also represented by Partners David S. Golub and Joaquin L. Madry and former Partner Marilyn J. Ramos.