Jonathan M. Cohen, LLC
3510 Baring Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215.592.4445
Fax: 215.592.4080

1200 Avenue of the Americas
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New York, New York 10036
Tel: 917.725.4215
Fax: 917.725.3065

The McCoy Case


The school's chief executive officer, Rick Losasso, said in a deposition that the school didn't have a system in place to make sure its employees were taking students off-campus only to authorized destinations, the motion said.

The school's defenses in its answer to the plaintiff's complaint included the defense that the school acted with due care and that Cujas was not acting within the scope of his employment. Cujas also denied the plaintiff's claims in his answer.

The school successfully removed the case from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania when Cujas filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania April 20, 2007, according to court papers. When the case settled, the plaintiff had a motion pending to transfer the case back to Philadelphia, Englert said.

McCoy's sole heir is his daughter, Jade Latimore, now 7, and Frances S. Williams, McCoy's grandmother and adoptive mother, is the administratrix of McCoy's estate, according to the motion for approval of the settlement. Jade has been adopted by her paternal great-aunt and great-uncle.

The plaintiff proposes dividing the settlement into $4.096 million in Wrongful Death Act damages and $1.024 million in Survival Act damages, the motion said. The motion requests that Jade Latimore receive $2.2 million in net Wrongful Death Act damages. Williams has requested $512,000 for an administrator's commission as well as a little over $550,000 in net Survival Act damages. Plaintiff's attorneys have requested one-third of the settlement proceeds, or $1.71 million in attorney fees, under their contingent fee arrangement with plaintiff. Plaintiff's attorneys also have requested a little under $148,000 in litigation costs.

"We're very glad we were able to represent the family and achieve a favorable result for them and bring to light the unnecessary danger that this child was placed in," Cohen said.

"And we hope it does something to guard against this kind of tragedy occurring in the future and it's our hope the money will do a lot for Nate's daughter."

Hankin said that the defendants support the plaintiff's motion for the Orphans' Court to approve the settlement.

"We would like Orphans' Court to sign it and get the case over and marked final," Hankin said.