- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) - The family of a 17-year-old Lovington student has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district after the teen fell from a moving vehicle on campus.

Lawyers for the family of Peggy Saenz filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday, accusing the Lovington Municipal Schools District and administrators of neglect. They say the district failed to fix a dangerous parking lot and didn’t provide proper supervision.

Saenz died in August after an accident in the school parking lot.

The lawsuit said the district knew about the dangerous conditions and did nothing, even after the school board was told about the problem. Court papers also say the district didn’t have security officers in the lot.

District Superintendent Darin Manes and Lovington High School Principal Chris Brattain, both named in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.



The family seeks more than $2.5 million in damages and legal fees.

Following the accident, Brattain told school board members that he and other administrators tried to direct traffic in the congested parking lot at the beginning of the year.

“I was told we were doing that at our own risk because if we were hit by a student that liability would fall on us and not the school,” Brattain said.

Board members were looking into new proposals for new stop signs, speed bumps, and parking bumpers.

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