WASHINGTON — A D.C. mother has filed a $50 million lawsuit against KIPP DC Public Charter School after her 9-year-old son was hit by a car leaving the Southeast campus.
Kaidyn Green was paralyzed from the neck down after he had been hit by a car while leaving school at KIPP DC Honor Academy just after 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. According to his mother, Kaidyn's lungs were badly damaged in the crash and he was on life support for weeks.
In June, the family announced that Kaidyn had died.
"Essentially we have a situation where a child died twice and he was brought back once," said Keith Watters, the Green family's attorney, at a press conference Friday.
Court documents state that on Dec. 10, the fourth grader was told that his mother had arrived to pick him up early from school. While his mother waited for her son at the front office, Kaidyn exited the building, and as he was crossing the 3300 block of Wheeler Road, he was hit by a car driven by William Maurice Ward of Southeast D.C.
"For whatever reason the security and or the school did not follow the normal protocol to get the child to the front desk," Watters said calling it "gross negligence."
Video surveillance from inside the school provided by the family's lawyers shows the Honor Academy student leaving his classroom and walking unattended through the halls of the schools and eventually making his way out of the building.
The lawsuit filed June 6 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia includes the charter school system and their security company LGC Security LLC, as well as Ward and the owner of the vehicle, Patrice Dixon.
"This has been a life-changing experience for our entire family, and we don't want anyone to go through this again," said Kaidyn's aunt, Charisma Green, who described her nephew as an energetic and fun-loving boy that loved school.
The Green family says they are also pushing for safety changes within the charter school system so that other families do not have to go through the same experience.
"Our community continues to mourn Kaidyn’s passing and our thoughts are with his family and the classmates that knew him so well," KIPP DC said in a statement. "Given the pending legal matter, we’re unable to say more at this time."
Kaidyn passed away almost six months after the crash, a day after his family had a party for him upon his arrival home. He was under medical supervision 20 hours a day. Watters says that he died from asphyxiation after a tracheostomy tube fell out.
Watters also alleged that the nurses that were intended to be on call left early for an unknown reason. The company that provided the nurses is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, but Watters says they might be included as they move forward.
LGC Security LLC's lawyer told WUSA9 that they have yet to be served and were not in the position to provide a comment about the pending legal matter.
Attempts to reach defendants William Ward and Patrice Dixon were unsuccessful at the time of publication.