Austin, TX (Law Wire News) March 17, 2014
A lawsuit that was set to be heard in federal court in early March in which 11 former cadets had claimed physical and mental abuse at the hands of older students at St. John's Military School in Kansas has quietly been settled ("Military school lawsuit settled on eve of trial, The Houston Chronicle, March 3, 2014). Details that would have emerged as each plaintiff took the stand to make his case will remain unknown to the public. Tony R. Bertolino, managing attorney at Bertolino LLP, said this continues a pattern with the 126-year-old school, as at least 14 other lawsuits have been filed by cadets and their families over the past decade and all have settled before trial.
Some of the alleged injuries that did come to light include two broken legs on one cadet, a broken eye socket on another, the branding of one student's stomach and, in the instance of the cadet from Texas, the humiliation of being urinated on while in the shower, according to the Chronicle. The school has admitted that some of the incidents were the result of inappropriate behavior by older cadets, while others were accidental injuries or complete fabrications, the newspaper reported.
Attorney Bertolino said he understands these young cadets are under a lot of pressure to stay in line and not speak up when they believe the treatment they are receiving is unfair. Bertolino also states that the expectation not to endure abuse should not be relinquished because a young man is enrolled at a school that highlights discipline.