CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County teen is suing another teen, his family and Kanawha County schools for injuries he sustained from a fight at an eastern Kanawha County high school two years ago.
On Feb. 4, Charles Edward Perry filed a lawsuit against Jeffrey Cottrell, his parents who are named only as John and Jane Doe, and the Kanawha County Board of Education in Kanawha Circuit Court. In his complaint and suit, filed with the assistance of Charleston attorney John R. Mitchell, Perry alleges he was severely injured from a fight with Cottrell at Riverside High School in Quincy in which school officials failed to timely break-up.
According to court records, both Perry and Cottrell were students at Riverside on Feb. 4, 2007. The suit does not specify the boys’ age or grade level.
However, at the time Perry was living with his sister and legal guardian, Rhonda Ann Cross, in London. Both Cross and Perry’s parents, Jesse James and Mary Perry, who are residents of Fayette County, are named as co-plaintiffs in the suit.
Though records are unclear as to exactly when and the cause, Perry and Cottrell got into a fight in the school’s cafeteria. The fight occurred “in the presence of teachers and principals of Riverside High School.”
As a result of the fight, Perry alleges he suffered, among other things, a right mandible fracture, closed head injury, cervical strain, lung, chest and abdominal trauma, skin abrasions and impacted teeth. The injuries have caused him to expend “large sums for medical expenses and hospital expenses” both now and in the future.
In addition to the blows he suffered from Cottrell’s hands, Perry alleges the Board was negligent in his injuries. The Board “owed a duty to [Perry] to exercise ordinary care to keep and maintain the school in a reasonably safe and secure condition and owed a duty to Perry to protect him from the injuries inflicted upon him by other persons.”
He is seeking unspecified damages, costs and fees.
The suit does not specific what disciplinary action, if any, was brought against the boys.
The case has been assigned to Judge Irene C. Berger.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 09-C-180