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Kennedy High School Litigation Update


The formal name of this lawsuit is Darnette Daniels, et al. v. State of Louisiana, et al., Civil District Court, Parish of Orleans, Civil Action No. 19-6895, Division “G”. It is pending before the Honorable Robin Giarrusso. The Bagneris Firm represents parents of students and students of John F. Kennedy Senior High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, who claim to have suffered damages, including, but not limited to, economic losses, emotional distress, loss of opportunity, loss of quality of life, and other damages, as a direct result of the negligent educational mismanagement of the high school. More specifically, claimants are from the graduating classes of 2019 through 2023.

UPDATE: APRIL 30th, 2024

The Class Certification Hearing concluded in February 2024. We received three days of transcripts from the Court Reporter and we are still waiting to receive three days of the transcript. We cannot complete the Post Hearing briefing until we receive the transcripts. The Post Hearing Briefs will be due 30 days after the transcript is received. At that time, the Court will also consider the pending Motions for Summary Judgment.

There is a new judge appointed to this case – Honorable Marissa Hulabarat. Judge Hulabarat has hit the ground running and has really gotten this matter moving forwards towards resolution. Shortly after taking the bench, she had Status Conferences with the parties and developed a Scheduling Order. She set deadlines for the filing of motions for summary judgment, and she scheduled the class certification hearing. The class certification hearing began on December 11, 2023. It was conducted on December 11-13 with the following witnesses testifying: Kathy Padian (TenSquare); Jennifer Baird (LDOE); Kevin George (former CEO of New Beginnings Schools Foundation); Raphael Gang (former Board Chair of New Beginnings Schools Foundation); Ashlei Delarge (former Guidance Counsellor at Kennedy); Dr. Ashonta Wyatt (Plaintiffs’ Educational Leadership Expert); Dr. Rahn Bailey (Plaintiffs’ Expert Psychiatrist regarding emotional distress); and Jonathan Stoltz (Plaintiffs’ Economic Loss Expert). The second part of the class certification hearing will be conducted on January 31-February 2, 2024. It is anticipated that the following witnesses will testify at that time: Plaintiffs and Proposed Class Representatives Darnette Daniels, Taylor McClendon, Kena Ross, John Ross, and Trinity Barnes; Dr. John Thompson (Defense Psychiatry Expert); Dr. Matthew Holcomb (Defense Clinical Psychology Expert); Dr. Aaron Wolfson (Defense Economic Expert); and Raphael Gang (NBSF former Board Chair.)

After the hearing, the parties will be provided deadlines to submit Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law regarding Class Certification for the Court’s consideration.

In February 2024, the Court will also likely hear the Motions for Summary Judgment filed by both parties.

We anticipate getting a jury trial date in late 2024 or early 2025.