A teenage girl who plummeted more than 12 feet with her Yeshiva classmates when a class picture turned into a catastrophe is suing her former school, claiming that the students should never had been told to stand on a rusty sidewalk grate.
Kayla Revivo, 13, filed a negligence claim against Yeshiva Sharre Torah last week, claiming that administrators at the Ocean Parkway school near Church Avenue should have known that the bolts holding the grate in place were deteriorated before they asked the students to stand on top of it for a class picture back in May, 2009.
The students were taking photos outside the school when the grate they were standing on gave way.
Officials said that 32 students fell to the basement, but only two of the children sustained serious injuries. Both suffered broken bones, officials said. After investigation, the entire ordeal was determined to be an accident.
Revivo claims she suffered a herniated disc during the fall. She has since transferred to another school, the lawsuit claims.
Officials from the Department of Buildings gave Yeshiva Sharre Torah administrators a violation for failing to maintain the grate after it was determined that the worn-out bolts snapped under the children’s weight.
Attempts to reach the school for comment were unsuccessful.
The former PS 29 PTA treasurer who swiped more than $80,000 from the Cobble Hill school’s parents says she’d rather go to prison than make restitution, now that she’s failed to hammer out a plea deal with prosecutors.
“If the school thinks they can get the money [I took] they’re wrong,” Providence Hogan said outside of court on Monday. “I might as well go to jail for as long as possible. That would be nothing to what I’m enduring now. [To me] this ordeal has been jail.”
Hogan was nabbed in March for siphoning funds from the Henry Street school’s PTA treasury between 2008 and 2010.
As treasurer, she had unfettered access to the PTA’s checkbook and has admitted to cutting checks to herself ranging from $6,000 to $52,000, spending the funds on fertility treatments and the rent on her home, as well as the $5,000-per-month lease on Providence Day Spa, her Atlantic Avenue business.
District Attorney Charles Hynes allowed Hogan to avoid prison with this sweetheart deal: no jail if she paid back everything she stole within a year. But Hogan never came up with the first payment of $40,000, killing the deal and setting the stage for a trial — and a possible 15-year prison sentence.
Hogan claims she doesn’t have the means to return the money and came to court on Monday hoping to pay $30,000 and set up a new agreement requiring her to make quarterly payments of $3,000 until the balance — plus interest — is zero, but Judge Suzanne Mondo shot down the deal, claiming it would take more than four years to pay everything off.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin James argued that Hogan’s four-year payment plan was especially unreasonable, given that she apparently hasn’t taken any steps to cut back on her tony Cobble Hill lifestyle.
Hogan’s attorney Stephen Flamhaft claims that his client is just scraping by — and wouldn’t be able pay for his counsel if she goes to trial. Following Monday’s court hearing, Flamhaft filed an application to be removed from the case because Hogan can no longer pay his fees.
Mondo ordered everyone back to court on Nov. 1 to set a date for Hogan’s criminal trial.
Hogan is facing five to 15 years in prison, although defendants in these cases usually get less time.
At sentencing, Mondo will most likely demand Hogan pay back PS 29 once she gets out of jail, a law enforcement source explained.
“Restitution is almost always included,” she said.