Firm Partner Ronald Labriola is now helming a major lawsuit against the Torrance Unified School District on behalf of 18 Torrance High School students who allege that they were sexually molested by their wrestling coach. Thomas Snider is now facing 46 felony counts of lewd conduct and child molestation, but the suit charges the district’s administration knew about Snider’s history of inappropriate behavior and continued to trust him with young students.
As Daily Breeze reports, nearly 26 boys in total were allegedly molested between 2013 and 2014 by Snider. According to testimony, Snider would regularly hold “skin checks” with the student wrestlers, having them stand naked in a row and touching them inappropriately under the guise of examining them for skin conditions like impetigo and ringworm. The lawsuit claims that Snider’s behavior– reaching back decades ago– had been brought to the attention of school district officials who continued to employ him.
“The bottom line is there were many red flags over a lengthy period of time that the school district ignored and, in doing so, disregarded their primary obligation of protecting the children under their care,” Attorney Ronald Labriola told the press. “As a result, over 25 kids have been sexually abused and are going to pay the price for it for a long, long time over the course of their lives.”
The suit, which is being jointly handled with Attorney Skye Daley of Manly, Stewart and Finaldi, alleges that the school district is guilty of negligence in hiring and supervision, fraud, infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment, and other charges related to Snider’s charges. Snider, who was arrested last year, is currently out on bail and awaiting his criminal trial.
A History of Abuse
Key to this suit against Torrance Unified School District is the implication that administrators ignored claims that Snider had acted inappropriately with students in the past. This claim largely rests on the testimony of one student, now 36, who claims that Snider molested him when he was an 11-year-old student at Madrona Middle School. According to that student, Snider took him on a camping trip in the mountains, claimed that he forgot his tent, and then assaulted the boy while sharing a sleeping bag.
In 2007, the victim reported the assault to a secretary at Torrance High School via phone, visited district headquarters, and even submitted a report in writing. Regardless, Snider was hired as head wrestling coach at Torrance High School in 2013.
“The school district did nothing with this information,” Attorney Daley told the press. “This case is about their failures and their negligence in protecting their students.”
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The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP is a California law firm dedicated to pursuing justice for those who have been wrongly harmed by others. In the personal injury, defective product, and sexual abuse practice areas, their legal team continues to advocate for victims, assert their interests and rights before our legal system, and secure the relief they deserve for the pain, suffering, and costs they have incurred.
If you have been wronged by the negligence of another individual, company, or institution, our California civil attorneys are ready to hear your story. Call us at 800.773.0849 today.