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CAM-L-001927-18 05/23/2018 10:15:28 AM Pg 1 of 8 Trans ID: LCV2018901275

COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC


By: Drake P. Bearden, Jr., Esquire
Attorney I.D. No. 039202009
18000 Horizon Way, Suite 800
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
(856) 727-9700
Attorneys for Plaintiff

:
S.J. BY HER PARENT T.J., : SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
: CAMDEN COUNTY - LAW DIV.
Plaintiffs, :
: CIVIL ACTION
vs. :
:
WINSLOW TOWNSHIP SCHOOL : DOCKET NO:
DISTRICT and JOHN DOES 1-5 AND :
6-10, :
:
Defendants. : COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff, S.J., by her parent and guardian, T.J., residing in the State of New Jersey, by

way of Complaint against the defendants, says:

Preliminary Statement

This matter is brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”)

alleging harassment based on gender in a place of public accommodations permitted by the

school which, the school having been advised of the existence of same, failed to prevent or deter.

Plaintiff S.J. seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages and an equitable order from the

Court requiring Winslow Township School District to do better by its students.

Identification of Parties

1. Plaintiff S.J. is a minor, and a female student, who, at all relevant times herein,

attended Winslow Township Middle School, which is part of Winslow Township School

District, where incidents of gender harassment described herein took place.

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2. Plaintiff T.J. is the parent of S.J. and brings suit on behalf of her minor child.

3. Defendant Winslow Township School District is a municipal corporation

organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey and was the responsible party under the

paradigm of gender harassment in a school setting as imported from the Lehmann v. Toys R' Us

decision by virtue of L.W. v. Toms River decision and was also responsible for the prevention

and/or deterrent of the harassment set for herein.

4. Defendants John Does 1-5 and 6-10, currently unidentified, are individuals and/or

entities who, on the basis of their direct acts or on the basis of respondeat superior, are

answerable to the plaintiff for the acts set forth herein.

General Allegations

5. Plaintiff began attending Winslow Township Elementary School in October 2015.

6. Starting in or around February of 2016, a group of female students began to

engage in sex or gender based harassment toward plaintiff.

7. From February 2016, until October 2016, a female student named Daeyanna, and

other female students engaged in sex or gender based harassment toward plaintiff.

8. The sex or gender based harassment that occurred during that time included, but

was not limited to the following.

9. Beginning in February 2016, female students, including Daeyanna, would send

text messages to plaintiff where they would refer to her as a “bitch,” “dick rider,” “whore,” and

“slut.”

10. In April or May of 2016, Daeyanna also spread a false rumor about plaintiff both

in school, and on social media, that plaintiff sent a male classmate nude photographs.

11. This rumor was not true.

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12. After Daeyanna spread this false rumor, she began to harass plaintiff about

sending nude photographs, although plaintiff never actually sent those photographs.

13. Daeyanna, and other female students would also refer to plaintiff as “bald

headed” and a “dick rider,” in the school.

14. In or around October 2016, plaintiff’s mother became aware of the harassment,

and immediately reported it to defendant.

15. In particular, plaintiff’s mother spoke to two principals at the school, Mr. Carter,

and Mr. Marlon.

16. To plaintiff’s knowledge, neither Mr. Carter nor Mr. Marlon did anything about

the sexually harassing comments that were made to plaintiff.

17. After plaintiff’s mother made complaints about the sexually harassing comments,

the comments continued on a weekly basis.

18. Every time the comments would occur, the plaintiff’s mother would again go to

the office, and complain, but to her knowledge, nothing was done.

19. In addition to engaging in the same harassment that had occurred prior to

plaintiff’s mother making complaints, Daeyanna, and other students began to make threats to

plaintiff after she made her complaints.

20. In particular Daeyanna sent text messages to plaintiff where she stated that she

would “fuck you up,” and “drag you.”

21. The harassing comments continued after October 2016 on a regular basis up to

and including June 2017.

22. In or around June 2017, Daeyanna approached plaintiff and falsely accused

plaintiff of calling Daeyanna’s mother a “hoe.”

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23. Plaintiff told Daeyanna that she never referred to her mother in that way, and

Daeyanna responded by grabbing plaintiff by her hair and dragging her across the room.

24. As a result of this incident, hair was ripped from plaintiff’s head.

25. As Daeyanna was physically assaulting plaintiff, she told plaintiff “I told you I

was going to drag you.”

26. In stating this, Daeyanna was referring to the harassing text message that she sent

to plaintiff.

27. Plaintiff is a female student that attended a school within defendant’s school

district.

28. All harassment complained of herein is alleged to be severe and pervasive.

29. All harassment herein is because of sex or gender gender.

30. All harassment set forth herein is such that a reasonable female student in

plaintiff’s circumstance would have found the school environment altered to have become

hostile, intimidating and abusive.

31. Plaintiff’s school environment did so alter.

32. The harassment of plaintiff was purposeful, intentional, and willful and members

of defendant’s upper management and administrative staff were made aware of the harassment,

and were willfully indifferent to the harassment.

33. Because the harassment was intentionally egregious, and because members of

upper management were willfully indifferent to the harassment, punitive damages are warranted.

34. Defendant is liable for the harassment because it failed to reasonably promulgate

a policy prohibiting harassment at the school district.

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35. The school district is further liable in this matter because it was notified of the

harassment and failed to take prompt and effective remedial measures to correct the harassment.

36. As a result of the unlawful conduct outlined above, plaintiff has been forced to

suffer harm.

COUNT I

Sexual Harassment Under the LAD

37. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges paragraphs 1 through 36, as though fully set

forth herein.

38. For the reasons set forth above, the aforementioned conduct constitutes actionable

harassment in a place of public accommodation against defendant by virtue of the underlying

L.W. v. Toms River decision applied in the Lehmann v. Toys R 'Us decision.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants jointly, severally and

in the alternative, together with compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, cost of suit,

attorneys’ fees, enhanced attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the Court deems equitable and just.

COUNT II

Request for Equitable Order

39. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges paragraphs 1 through 38, as though fully set

forth herein.

40. Plaintiff hereby requests the Court issue equitable orders requiring the following:

A. That the school immediately initiate and then continue year-to-year,

proper assemblies, student gatherings, administrative and teacher

gatherings and other in-service training to make certain that the gender

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based harassment complained of herein does not occur, and if it does

occur, that it is properly and immediately responded to;

B. That any and all individuals who participated in the harassment be

significantly and severely punished as a deterrent example to students,

employees and administrators;

C. That all employees and administrators who failed to respond to the

harassment be administratively disciplined for this failure as a deterrent to

such failures in the future;

D. To require active and perspective protection to students who report such

bullying and harassment through the use of aids, “shadows,” etc. as

necessary.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants jointly, severally and

in the alternative, together with compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, cost of suit,

attorneys’ fees, enhanced attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the Court deems equitable and just.

COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC

By: /s/ Drake P. Bearden Jr._______


Dated: May 23, 2018 Drake P. Bearden Jr.

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DEMAND TO PRESERVE EVIDENCE

1. All defendants are hereby directed and demanded to preserve all physical and

electronic information pertaining in any way to plaintiff’s employment, to plaintiff’s cause of

action and/or prayers for relief, to any defenses to same, and pertaining to any party, including,

but not limited to, electronic data storage, closed circuit TV footages, digital images, computer

images, cache memory, searchable data, emails, spread sheets, employment files, memos, text

messages and any and all online social or work related websites, entries on social networking

sites (including, but not limited to, Facebook, twitter, MySpace, etc.), and any other information

and/or data and/or things and/or documents which may be relevant to any claim or defense in this

litigation.

2. Failure to do so will result in separate claims for spoliation of evidence and/or for

appropriate adverse inferences.

COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC

By: /s/ Drake P. Bearden Jr.________


Drake P. Bearden Jr.

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury.

COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC

By: /s/ Drake P. Bearden Jr.________


Drake P. Bearden Jr.

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RULE 4:5-1 CERTIFICATION

1. I am licensed to practice law in New Jersey and am responsible for the captioned

matter.

2. I am aware of no other matter currently filed or pending in any court in any

jurisdiction which may affect the parties or matters described herein.

COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC

By: /s/ Drake P. Bearden Jr.________


Drake P. Bearden Jr.

DESIGNATION OF TRIAL COUNSEL

Drake P. Bearden, Jr., Esquire, of the law firm of Costello & Mains, LLC, is hereby-

designated trial counsel.

COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC

By: /s/ Drake P. Bearden Jr.________


Drake P. Bearden Jr.

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Civil Case Information Statement


Case Details: CAMDEN | Civil Part Docket# L-001927-18

Case Caption: J. T. VS WINSLOW TOWNSHIP SCH OOL Case Type: LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION (LAD) CASES
DISTR Document Type: Complaint with Jury Demand
Case Initiation Date: 05/23/2018 Jury Demand: YES - 6 JURORS
Attorney Name: DRAKE P BEARDEN JR Hurricane Sandy related? NO
Firm Name: COSTELLO & MAINS, LLC Is this a professional malpractice case? NO
Address: 18000 HORIZON WAY STE 800 Related cases pending: NO
MT LAUREL NJ 080544319 If yes, list docket numbers:
Phone: Do you anticipate adding any parties (arising out of same
Name of Party: PLAINTIFF : J., T. transaction or occurrence)? NO
Name of Defendant’s Primary Insurance Company
(if known): Unknown

THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS FORM CANNOT BE INTRODUCED INTO EVIDENCE


CASE CHARACTERISTICS FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING IF CASE IS APPROPRIATE FOR MEDIATION

Do parties have a current, past, or recurrent relationship? YES


If yes, is that relationship: Business
Does the statute governing this case provide for payment of fees by the losing party? YES
Use this space to alert the court to any special case characteristics that may warrant individual
management or accelerated disposition:

Do you or your client need any disability accommodations? NO


If yes, please identify the requested accommodation:

Will an interpreter be needed? NO


If yes, for what language:

I certify that confidential personal identifiers have been redacted from documents now submitted to the
court, and will be redacted from all documents submitted in the future in accordance with Rule 1:38-7(b)

05/23/2018 /s/ DRAKE P BEARDEN JR


Dated Signed