The parent of a young Philadelphia teen has filed a negligence suit against a youth
residential facility over claims that her son was injured earlier this year after being forced to jog back to his residence hall after a recreational outing despite the fact that counselors knew, or should have known, the boy had breathing difficulties due to his weight.
Melissa Stewart is suing Philadelphia-based Carson Valley Children’s Aid in state court in Philadelphia over claims that the organization, which operates a residential educational facility just over the Philadelphia city line in Montgomery County, was negligent when it allowed two of its employees to make the plaintiff’s son, Aaron Stewart, jog back to his room after a game of basketball several blocks away on Jan. 30.
The lawsuit claims that the two counselors, identified as Brian Miley and Aaron Pinkney, knew, or should have known, that the plaintiff’s son was overweight, out of shape, and had difficulty engaging in strenuous activities, yet they still instructed Aaron Stewart to “run” or “jog” back to his room.
Miley and Pinkney are not named as defendants in the suit, although they are referenced by name in court papers.
The sun had set at the time, and the counselors made the youths trek home on foot in “pitch black” visibility, the suit claims.
At one point, Aaron Stewart began experiencing breathing difficulty and had to stop to catch his breath on a couple of occasions.
During one of those occasions, the two counselors, who were supposedly lighting the way for the group with the headlights from their vehicle, which they were driving at the rear of the pack, made contact with Aaron Stewart after the teen tripped and collapsed to the ground, the complaint says.
In the process of falling, the plaintiff’s son was either struck by, or otherwise made contact with, the counselors’ vehicle, which was being driven by Brian Miley.
The lawsuit claims Aaron Stewart’s fall was either due to “sheer exhaustion,” losing his balance on the uneven street and grassy surface, or because he was physically struck by the approaching vehicle.
As a result of the incident, Aaron Stewart sustained a right leg fracture, as well as other unspecified ills and injuries, the suit claims.
The plaintiff asserts that her son has had to undergo medical treatment and rehabilitation to cure his injuries, something that has cost the family various sums of money.
The boy has also suffered a cosmetic disfigurement, which may be permanent in nature, the plaintiff claims.
The complaint accuses the defendant of various acts of negligence, such as failing to adequately supervise and monitor Aaron Stewart, failing to abide by all necessary and standard childcare protocols, failing to have proper lighting throughout the facilities, forcing the plaintiff’s son to jog in an area that presented a dangerous and hazardous condition and failing to properly and adequately hire and/or instruct the employees working with the children.
Melissa Stewart seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs and other court relief.
She is being represented by attorney Michael S. Mednick, of the firm Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo.
The suit was filed April 26 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
The case ID number is 130404036.