Four teenage girls and their parents are asking the MTA for more than $40 million in damages following a racially biased attack the girls suffered on the Bx8 bus in November.
Scott Seskin, the girls’ attorney, filed four notices of claim against the MTA requesting damages of $10 million for each girl and $2 million for each parent.
The notices of claim, which were filed in early December, are a precursor to any lawsuit that would come against the MTA.
A hearing following the claims is scheduled for later this month.
On Tuesday, November 22, the white girls from St. Catharine High School were on a city bus when two African-American teenage males began to hurl raceially-charged comments at the girls.
The boys yelled things such as, “Oh, white girl got money!” and “Oh you go to St. Catharine’s? What, do you have money? Go drink your coffee, white girl and go shopping.”
The boys allegedly threatened to urinate on the girls.
When the bus got to its Westchester Square stop, three African American teenage girls arrived at the behest of the two males.
The girls allegedly began an altercation with the girls leaving them with cuts bruises. A knapsack containing a laptop was also taken.
Police officers later arrested 17-year old Miracle Rattray and 16-year old Mollychi Rattray in connection with the attack.
In addition, police arrested a 15-year old girl on charges of 3rd degree assault but did not release her name.
The first two girls were both charged with 2nd degree gang assault.
Seskin said the monetary reward won’t help the girls easily recover from this attack, but it is a remedy the system provides.
“Under the system that we currently have,” he said. “The only method that we have to go ahead and compensate anybody is monetarily.”
“Obviously we can’t take back what happened as much as we would like to,” he continued. “No one wants this case and no one wants to have this happen to them.”
Following the alleged attacks, elected officials – including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, assemblymembers Mark Gjonaj and Michael Benedetto, Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman James Vacca – sent a letter to the MTA asking for safer conditions for students that ride the Bx8 bus route.
The officials requested a special arrangement where the students will get one bus at dismissal time which permits only drop offs.
A recent NY Post article said certain Catholic schoolgirls were looking for a special to take them to and from school in light of the attacks.
However, Seskin said his clients were not looking for a special bus.
“Besides the fact [my clients] don’t want it,” he said, “It’s not going to prevent anything that happened from occurring again.”
A MTA spokesperson acknowledged receiving the special bus request.
“We have received a letter from a group of elected officials and will respond to them directly,” the spokesperson said.