A Hillsborough County family is suing the county over injuries their son sustained while under Parks and Recreation Department care.
The child of Alvaro Antonio Cermeno and Amanda Faye Cermeno, when he was 12 years old, was allegedly playing near the basketball courts at Westchase Recreation Center when an older child approached him and began a verbal altercation.
The Cermeno’s child and the older boy accused of bullying him are named in the lawsuit, however Florida Politics is not publishing their names due to their age and the fact that allegations in pending civil suits are not proven.
The lawsuit claims the older boy had bullied Cermeno before and that the Cermenos had informed workers at the rec center about the alleged bullying.
The older boy allegedly picked up the Cermeno’s child and slammed him to the ground. The Cermenos say their son was unattended at the center.
After the altercation, another child reportedly went inside to retrieve a worker who responded to the injured child. The lawsuit claims that worker worsened the child’s injury by attempting to straighten his foot, which they claim caused an audible crack.
Had the employee been present in the first place, the Ceremenos argue, the injury may not have occurred.
The family now seeks damages in excess of $30,000 plus attorney and other legal fees from the county due to negligent care on behalf of county staff.
The family first notified the county of their intent to sue in 2016, the same year the alleged incident occurred. However, the lawsuit was not filed in Hillsborough County Court until Feb. 4 of this year. The lawsuit indicates plaintiffs waited the prescribed six months after notifying the county of its intended action, though that window has long since passed.
It’s unclear why the family waited nearly four years to file suit. A representative from Hillsborough County did not immediately respond to a request for comment or clarification on the incident. Government agencies do not typically comment on pending litigation.