GWC Injury Lawyers has been retained by the family of a 12-year-old South Elgin boy to investigate his severe beating by another student during school hours, and to answer troubling questions about the incident and how it was handled by the school.
“Right now the family has more questions than we do answers,” GWC Partner Lance Northcutt told Fox News Chicago.
On Friday, February 3, Henry Sembner was assaulted by another student after he bumped into him at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin.
“And then from some innocuous event you have an encounter that almost ends his life,” Mr. Northcutt said.
Henry suffered multiple facial fractures and a broken orbital bone. His injuries were so severe that he had to be placed in a medically induced coma to control his brain swelling.
Henry is currently recovering at home, though he is likely be away from school for an extended period of time, and he will not be able to play sports for at least a year. While his family is grateful for the outpouring of support from their community, the entire incident has raised some disturbing questions.
Given the extent and severity of Henry’s injuries, the family is very concerned about how long Henry was kept in the school nurse’s office before an ambulance was called. They also want to know if the student who attacked Henry should have been flagged and kept away from Henry before the assault even occurred.
“What we’re seeing in terms of injuries in this young man isn’t something that was just a one-off punch. This was an incredibly brutal sustained attack,” said Mr. Northcutt. “The threshold question we have is how did this happen in the first place?
“What if any knowledge did the school have that there might have been a problem, and what if anything did they try to do to help the young man before he had an encounter with Henry?”
GWC has been in contact with School District U-46, but no decision has been made about litigation. Primarily, the family wants an independent investigation – and answers.
“Some straightforward answers as to how their child who was entrusted to this school ended up in a coma. And that’s a reasonable position for them to take,” Mr. Northcutt said.
Lance Northcutt leads GWC’s Specialty Litigation Practice, where he handles a wide variety of complex litigation on behalf of the firm. Prior to joining GWC Injury Lawyers, Mr. Northcutt was a principal of The Northcutt Firm, P.C. and a prosecutor with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
A highly skilled trial lawyer, Mr. Northcutt has a broad range of civil litigation experience. At the state and federal level, he has successfully litigated personal injury/wrongful death cases, civil rights actions, complex fraud/commercial claims and “bet the company” emergency litigation. He is licensed to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
GWC prosecutes a wide variety of injury cases throughout Illinois, including those involving civil rights violations, auto collisions, workers’ compensation, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. If you or your loved one has been injured, please contact our office for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries.