Media Contact

January 31, 2024

LAS VEGAS — Attorneys with the Las Vegas law firm Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen and Robert Langford, Esq., filed a lawsuit in a Clark County court on Wednesday to hold the Clark County School District accountable for a brutal attack on a student at Las Vegas High School in February 2022. Cell phone footage of the beating that was shared throughout the community and in the media showed a student punched more than a dozen times in the back of her head without any intervention. 

The incident raised numerous questions about school district policies and practices and has raised questions about what CCSD knew in advance of this incident that could have prevented it from occurring. Attorneys representing the student include James Sweetin, Esq., and Larry Smith, Esq., from Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, and Robert Langford, Esq., from Robert Langford and Associates. Athar Haseebullah, Esq., executive director of ACLU of Nevada, is serving as an advisor.  

Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen attorney James R. Sweetin, Esq., said:

“Like many across the country, we were shocked to see the brutal beating that occurred in one of our community’s schools. Our firm joined this case because we believe our attorneys have an obligation to use our abilities to give back to the community, but even more importantly, our teenage client deserves justice for what she’s been through, which includes serious ongoing medical treatment since the incident occurred. There are many looming questions about CCSD’s actions here and we look forward to what will likely be extensive litigation to establish that CCSD could have prevented this incident from occurring.” 

Las Vegas attorney Robert Langford said:

“Nevada law is clear. Every student has the right to a safe and respectful learning environment. Seeing such a brutal beating of a student while she is simply doing her schoolwork begs the question, ‘How could this have been prevented,’ and we look forward to establishing that CCSD had every ability to preclude this attack from happening but failed to do so. CCSD’s actions here have destroyed a young girl’s life.”

ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah said:

“In the wake of this attack, our client encountered unacceptable barriers instead of decency. This incident exposed serious deficiencies in our system, including how Spanish-speaking families are treated during campus emergencies. The work of Bertoldo, Carter, Smith & Cullen, and Robert Langford and Associates here are great reminders that private attorneys can help advance civil rights and justice too, and the legal ecosystem functions better when they do. I’m grateful for the opportunity to advise this remarkable team as they seek justice for our client and her family.” 

About the Case

The complaint filed Wednesday explains that inadequate training and supervisory practices were deliberately indifferent to the rights of the student who was attacked in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. As a result of negligence by school and district leaders, the teen who was attacked sustained serious injury to her body and nervous system that continue to cause her pain, suffering, and disability.

 The case is Lainez Lemus v. CCSD, Case No. A-24-886206-C. A filed stamped copy is provided below.