Family Seeks $7.5 Million Because High School Read Daughter's Texts
Beaird's daughter Madelyn is your typical teen texting fiend. According to The33TV, MacArthur High School officials thought that the student might have some information about a situation "involving a gun and keyed cars," and searched her phone for potential clues. Faced with a police officer and three administrators, Madelyn handed over her phone even though she "knew they could not [confiscate] it" legally. (We're not entirely certain if that applies in situations where that information could prevent harm to others, but we'll leave that up to the legal types to decide.)
So, John Beaird thought that the Irving Independent School District dun goofed, and demanded that the district fire all of the employees involved and pay his family $7.5 million. The ISD voted unanimously (read: stopped laughing long enough to read its decision) on Monday to refute the Beairds' claim, although the family is planning on taking the case to federal court. The district also countered that the student consented to and even helped with the search, and that it would pay for a replacement phone for Madelyn, since the one in question wasn't returned.
John Beaird calculated the dollar value of his daughter's ordeal from the best possible legal resource: pop-legal culture. He told The33TV, "I remember back when hot coffee was spilled in the McDonald's lawsuit. I believe they were awarded $4.5 million... I said, you know, I guess a constitutional right is worth at least $4 million today." But Beaird may not remember the outrage and incredulity that most of us felt (or the fact that the plaintiff, Stella Liebeck, was actually awarded $2.86 million, which was eventually settled down to under $600,000). Or even the fact that Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants inspired much hemming and hawing over tort reform. And hence, we nominate Mr. Beaird for a prestigious Stella Award. Good luck in court! [From: The33TV]
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