The family of the 15-year-old high school student stabbed to death during history class in Bronx last month filed a notice of claim Tuesday against New York City, charging that negligence of school officials contributed to his death, the lawyer representing the boy’s mother said.
The claim, which is required under state law before any lawsuit is actually filed, alleges that Matthew McCree’s death on September 27, 2017 at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation stemmed from a knife attack by another student. The school building lacked appropriate security and magnetometers, according to legal papers prepared by the attorney, Sanford Rubenstein.
A separate, similar notice of claim for an unspecified amount was also filed by attorneys for Ariane Laboy, another student who was wounded in the attack, Rubenstein said.
Abel Cedeno, 18, was charged with murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, two counts of assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, officials said.
Cedeno’s family and police have said he was provoked by McCree and Laboy throwing pencils at him.
According to the notice provided by Rubenstein, the claim is asking for $25 million stemming from McCree’s suffering before death, loss of future earnings, as well as punitive damages. The claim names McCree’s mother, Louna S. Dennis as the person filing the papers on behalf of her son’s estate. She is bringing the claim against the city, the Department of Education and the NYPD.
“We intend to prove there was recipe for disaster at Urban Assembly,” Rubenstein said in a telephone interview. “No metal detectors when clearly the Department of Education knew they were needed there.”
A spokesman for the city Law Department said the claims were under review.
“This was a tragic incident. The City will review the notice of claim,” the spokesman said.`