Former high-schooler alleges she was thrown off bus and abandoned in Atlanta during group outing

By Jon Campisi | Mar 22, 2013

A New Jersey woman claims in a recently filed civil complaint that she was kicked off of a bus and intentionally left stranded in a strange city during a tour of colleges for high school students about a year-and-a-half ago.

Lashona Stanford, who resides in Woodlynne, N.J., contends in her lawsuit that on Oct. 23, 2011, while she was on a road trip checking out higher learning institutions, she was thrown off of the bus allegedly because she and another student had become involved in a verbal altercation.

Stanford was part of a group of high-schoolers participating in a chartered bus trip of historically black colleges and universities up and down the East Coast.

According to the complaint, the trip was organized by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, named as the lead defendant in the suit, which was filed March 19 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Philadelphia attorney Leonard K. Hill.

The other defendants named in the complaint are Tamara Hill-Bennett, Lisa Barrimond, and Maria Daniel, identified as trip organizers, as well as CMT Express, the bus company.

The lawsuit states that the defendants, who had a duty of care to the plaintiff because she was a minor at the time, threw Stanford off of the bus that night while full well knowing that the student had no idea where she was.

Stanford ended up stranded in a bus depot in Atlanta, where she feared for her safety due to the “transient and/or homeless people roaming about the depot,” the complaint states.

“Plaintiff was abandoned, in the middle of the night, in a strange city, at a bus depot with no means of getting home,” the suit reads.

Stanford called defendant Daniel nine times in a matter of eight minutes from her cell phone after being abandoned, but the calls went unanswered, the complaint alleges.

The plaintiff also placed numerous calls to defendant Hill-Bennett, but they, too, were met with no response.

The complaint says that Stanford was left stranded in Georgia until family members were able to travel to get her.

The incident allegedly caused Stanford to experience mental and emotional injuries, including psychological injuries, resulting in pain, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish and loss of life’s enjoyment and pleasures, the lawsuit states.

The defendants’ conduct constitutes “willful, wanton, gross negligence, negligence, and reckless disregard for the health and welfare of Plaintiff,” the suit states.

The complaint contains counts of negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, failure to rescue, breach of contract, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Stanford seeks damages in excess of $50,000, together with costs, interest, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.


The case ID number is 130302671. 

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