Gainesville’s Riverside Military Academy is facing a civil suit filed by a cadet who was assaulted last year, and has filed a notice for the court to consider the fault of the alleged attacker, who has since died.
Stephen Wechsler, who graduated from Riverside in May 2014, filed the suit Sept. 11, claiming the school should have intervened further before the attack, in which Wechsler suffered a concussion.
The incident, Wechsler claimed in his lawsuit, started in the dormitory hallway, where a fellow cadet with a history of violence knocked him unconscious.
The lawsuit claims Wechsler was punched and kneed “until he was eventually pulled away by Riverside staff.”
Wechsler claims he suffered a concussion, broken nose, deviated septum and fractures in his bottom and front teeth.
Responding to the suit, the school’s president Col. James Benson said the perpetrator, Christopher Mcateer, was immediately expelled.
“Unfortunately, fights break out in every high school, and Riverside is no exception,” Benson said.
On Oct. 27, the academy and its attorney, Jason Darneille, filed a notice of intent to apportion fault in the lawsuit.
“Based upon (Wechsler’s) complaint, unnamed party the late Christopher Mcateer is at fault for the injuries alleged in (Wechsler’s) complaint against Riverside Military Academy Foundation, Inc.,” according to the lawsuit. “At this time, we are unaware of any estate or representative being established on behalf of Mr. Mcateer.”
Darneille and Wechsler’s attorney Laurie Speed did not return calls for comment.
Wechsler and his counsel have asked for a jury trial and are seeking damages and court costs.