Assault of teen, mother leads to negligence suit

By Paris Achen
Medford Mail Tribune

A Medford woman has filed a lawsuit against the Medford School District, the city of Medford and a city police officer for injuries she and her daughter sustained when they were assaulted in 2007 by a group of teenage girls on a walkway near North Medford High School.

The lawsuit by Brenda Tyler and on behalf of her daughter, Mellody Santibanez Tyler, a North Medford student, alleges that the school district and school resource officer Ernie Whiteman were negligent in failing to protect Mellody from a group of girls that repeatedly had threatened her. The girls had beaten up Mellody’s older sister only three days before Mellody and her mother were attacked, according to the lawsuit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. Mellody’s sister was attacked during the course of trying to defend Mellody, the suit said.

“Hopefully there is way to put in institutional procedures to stop this (kind of violence) from happening,” said Dennis Black, Tyler’s attorney. “It needs to be confronted in a forceful way by the school district and police as soon as it happens.”

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