South Dakota district, hazing victim settle $5 million lawsuit


By Nate Reens
The Grand Rapids News
COOPERSVILLE, S.D. — Attorneys for Coopersville Area Public Schools and two hazing victims are asking a federal judge to approve a secret settlement that resolves a $5 million lawsuit.

The maneuver — detailed in court records and described by veteran attorneys as unusual and unlikely to be approved — seeks a hidden end to the public turmoil that divided this small community when two junior varsity baseball players were sexually, physically and verbally assaulted by teammates.

The 2007 attacks in a school locker room resulted in the expulsion of four students, criminal charges against the former players and, later, the federal civil rights claim on behalf of the violated athletes. The lawsuit sought millions from the district for each victim.

If school leaders and the victims have their way, only U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker will be privy to the cash award and other “nonmonetary” agreement details, documents show. Full story.

Related story:
Video: Coopersville settles hazing lawsuit

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