MILFORD - The mother of teenager stabbed to death at her high school is suing the city of Milford, claiming her daughter warned school administrators that her accused killer, Christopher Plaskon, was dangerous.
The lawsuit was filed in Milford Superior Court on Tuesday by Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez, mother of Maren Sanchez, against the city of Milford, the Board of Education, Plaskon and his parents.
The suit claims that the Jonathan Law High School student warned the high school guidance department that Plaskon was emotionally disturbed and was potentially a danger to himself or others before the 16-year-old was stabbed to death in a school stairwell in April 2014 with a steak knife because she refused his offer to go the prom.
“We feel there was an opportunity here for the school system and Plaskon’s parents to intervene to prevent Maren’s death from happening. We’re bringing this lawsuit to make sure that reports like the one Maren made are properly handled and that parents and school personnel will respond to protect minor children from terrible injury and death," said David S. Golub of the Stamford law firm of Silver Golub & Teitell, representing Cimarelli-Sanchez, in a statement.
“We waited until the conclusion of the criminal case against Christopher Plaskon to bring this action so that the criminal proceedings would not be affected by the civil case. But we feel that this case involves important issues about the responsibility of a school system to respond to reports of potential student violence and to protect its students from harm from other students and the responsibility of parents to take affirmative steps to prevent their child from engaging in destructive behavior,” Golub said in the statement.
According to the lawsuit, Plaskon’s guidance counselor failed to advise the school principal, school security or others in the school administration or the Connecticut Department of Children and Families of Maren’s report in violation of mandatory school policies and state law.
The lawsuit further alleges that Christopher Plaskon’s parents, David and Kathleen Plaskon, were aware that their son was engaging in self-destructive conduct with knives that was potentially dangerous to himself and others and failed to obtain proper medical treatment for him or to prevent him from having access to knives.
According to the lawsuit, Christopher Plaskon was absent from school for a week after Maren’s report about him to the school guidance counselor and then returned to school and continued to engage in self-destructive behavior, including cutting himself with a knife, and began bringing a knife to school with him.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6. Golub said he does not expect the suit to move forward until late spring or early summer.
Anthony Bonadies, an attorney for Maren’s father, Jose Sanchez released a statement:
"We know that Maren Sanchez's estate carefully reviewed the circumstances leading up to her stabbing death at Jonathan Law High School in Milford. The lawsuit spells out the mistakes made by those who had the duty and power to prevent Maren's senseless death. Most notably, the count against the Milford Board of Education explains how the school disregarded its own policies and procedures that are intended to safeguard the student body and Maren specifically. As a result, Maren was robbed of her adolescence and her entire adult life. Her death is a profound loss to her family and to those who knew and loved her. Maren's father, Jose, fully supports this lawsuit, which will prevent any other student and family from ever having to live this nightmare."